Thursday, 18 June 2009

Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?

...or to translate the words of Juvenal, the famous Roman poet and satirist: who will guard the guards?

We have an absolutely fundamental problem in our democracy. The mission creep of the executive, started by Thatcher, accelerated massively by Blair and topped off with supreme disdainful arrogance by Brown, is now the rotten core of our governance system. Examples from just the last 24 hrs alone:

Yesterday's PMQs - A set piece, weekly moment in holding the executive to account has been transformed into the PM refusing to answer any direct question and lying on the record about the executive's own policies.

The Chancellor's Mansion House speech - Despite the banking regulation system created by the executive being demonstrably inadequate, with the Governor of the Bank calling for it to be changed, with the US Government strengthening their system, because it would seem to be admitting incompetence, the executive toughs it out and refuse to change things.

The fake Iraq war inquiry - A chorus of disapproval, now joined by Lords Butler and Hutton - both past chairmen of war-related public inquiries - reigns down on the executive and its cover up operation of what has been without doubt the most outrageous and expensive (in terms of human life) botch up during NuLab's period in power. The executive just arrogantly ignore the criticism.

MPs expenses - Today the feeding frenzy begins all over again. Standby for days of more coverage. There will be more scalps; NuLab minister Shahid Malik is clinging on by his finger nails and will surely go soon but there will be more. The whole legislature, including the executive, are sullied. And the response of the executive has been pitiful, more interested in covering up the detail and using distraction techniques (even today, funny that Fred the Shred's pension deal should be leaked today, huh?) than shedding light and promoting openness.

All these demonstrate the fundamental problem of our democracy: we have an executive that is so powerful that it now listens to no one, has no shame, and does exactly what it wants.

To answer Juvenal's question, no one is guarding the guards. They are out of control.

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