...a blog by Richard Flowers

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Day 2026: A Mild Rebuke


I wish it were possible to SATIRISE the Minister for Magical Accidents.

But it REALLY isn't.

Today we learn that the House of Commons has told the Magical Minister off for being naughty.

"You are naughty!" they said.

It's really NOT good enough.

Not that this PARTICULAR incident is ever so awful – the Magical Minister got his trip abroad paid for and got some free dressing up games – but what is awful is the way it makes things LOOK.

People already think that politicians are pretty LOW. If it LOOKS like top politicians just ignore the rules and then when they get caught out, they say, "oh, well I've declared it NOW" it will just make people think that they are EVEN LOWER!

All too often somebody will say: "oh, they're all in it for themselves!" How can we possibly convince them that MOST politicians are actually HARD WORKING public servants when they are always so SUPINE in the face of ministers who break the rules again and again and again.

What Parliament really needs is an independent WATCHDOG that has the power to ORDER ministers to come and explain themselves and to PUNISH them properly if they break the rules. Basically, that ought to mean that if they break the rules they are BANNED from being a Minister for some months for little crimes or for several years for bigger ones – that would mean an automatic resignation, obviously.

(Actually, ALL parliamentary committees ought to be able to SUBPOENA people – like the Senate can in America – with a crime of Contempt of Parliament for people who refuse to turn up or give false or misleading or incomplete evidence.)

At the moment, it seems, a Minister can get away with anything so long as the PRESS do not decide to do a number on him or her. After that, it will become PRETTY DIFFICULT for them because they will be HOUNDED all day every day while the rat-pack will try to dig up ANY story no matter how minor, or how personal or how unconnected to how they do their job.

Ironically, although personal attacks are far more likely actually to bring down a minister, they also give Lord Blairimort the EXCUSE to NOT sack people who are rubbish because it really would be ENTIRELY WRONG to sack them for "personal reasons". It gives him COVER.

And anyway, why SHOULD it be the PRESS that decide who stays and who goes in government: who died and put them in charge?

Answer: parliament's authority, that's who died – and Lord Blairimort was seen in the vicinity at about the time and looking SHIFTY. (He can't help that, he ALWAYS looks shifty, these days.)

Parliament: you need to get that authority back!

It's time to get madder than hell and stop taking it any more! Get a bit of backbone and vote to give yourself the power to DO something about these people!

[R: PS - diaries entered by TIME WARP today: Day 2018; Day 2019; and Day 2024]

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