The word ‘tickbox’ emerged recently as a cynical angle on official or corporate incompetence. They had ‘ticked the box’ – people said – but failed to act. It is increasingly used to describe this gap between official spin and reality. Yet, says David Boyle in this powerful expose of tickbox culture, that is just the tip of a vast tickbox iceberg. The only people who remain blind to this gap are those rich or powerful enough to run the world, and behind Tickbox lies an insidious philosophy of automation and the misuse of data that weighs heavily on every one of us. It makes our public services less effective – and makes them soar in costs – it lies behind so many stark injustices and disasters, from Grenfell Tower to the deportation of the Windrush generation.