Friday, 10 June 2011

The TB/GB/EB/EM/DA Affair

To cap their 'Expensegate' coup the Daily Telegraph has come into possession of, in their words, "secret documents" involving Blair, Brown and Balls, which purport to show the hatred that existed within the Labour Party and the 'scheming' that took place to get rid of Blair and put in place Brown. The Telegraph website home page has various articles: we are invited to trawl the 'Ed Balls files database'; we can read that the Cabinet Office has launched an investigation into the leaks and that this may involve a breach of government security; and we can see Ed Balls denying that there was any plan to oust Blair.

As with the 'Expensegate' scandal, today is another sad day for our democracy and in particular for politics and politicians. What can be seen here is politicians placing party before country; political creed before country and personal ambition before country. If Brown, Balls and Alexander were so implacably against Blair and his policies, would not the honourable course of action have been to resign their office? It is pertinent to look at MP's Code of Conduct and from the General Principles we see:
Holders of public office should take decisions solely in terms of the public interest. They should not do so in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends
"Rules of conduct:
15. Members shall at all times conduct themselves in a manner which will tend to maintain and strengthen the public's trust and confidence in the integrity of Parliament and never undertake any action which would bring the House of Commons, or its Members generally, into disrepute."
In any debate or proceeding of the House or its Committees or transactions or communications which a Member may have with other Members or with Ministers or servants of the Crown, he shall disclose any relevant pecuniary interest or benefit of whatever nature, whether direct or indirect, that he may have had, may have or may be expecting to have."
When mounting a coup it is logical to assume that those taking part will be hoping for reward from the person they hope to put in the place of the present incumbent - 'Selflessness'?

By taking part in a coup, ie plotting behind their colleagues backs, the conspirators are acting in an underhand and unprofessional manner, thus bringing disrepute upon themselves and their co-conspirators - Rules of Conduct 15?

In being a party to the coup did Brown, Balls and Alexander declare to other Members the benefits they expected to gain - Resolution on Members financial interests?
Holders of public office should not place themselves under any financial or other obligation to outside individuals or organisations that might influence them in the performance of their official duties.
In this report it would appear that Balls & Miliband has indeed placed themselves under possible obligations to outside individuals. This further article lists others involved, people who were not MPs and thus 'outside' the House of Commons. It cannot pass notice that of that group of 'outsiders', Messrs Nye, Stevenson and Wood have since been ennobled - Integrity?

For some time we have been aware that our politicians are a collection of arrogant, self-serving parasites and when considering "self-serving" then Brown, Balls, MilibandE and Alexander must surely deserve an Oscar. One accusation that can be levied not only against Labour, but also the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats is that all three parties continually inform us they are men and women of principle, which immediately begs the question: how come none of them is able to call themselves a party with principles?

When any political party, whether in office or not, changes leader then perhaps this should also be done using the system of open primary? When one considers that with a change of leader there is usually entailed a change of direction, a new 'political creed', then should not the people decide for who they wish?

This latest episode demonstrates that not only are our politicians untrustworthy where the nation's finances, defence and general well-being are concerned, they are untrustworthy to even keep their own house in order and to do so ethically, honestly and without personal benefit.


PeterCharles said...

I thought you might like to know that I responded to this piece but received a 503 service not available when I attempted to post the comment.

My comment was too long to re-type.

PeterCharles said...

Since all appears to be working again the gist of my comment was that governments, public providers, supra-governmental organisations (banks and big corporations) and QANGO organisations act entirely without consequences. Because there are no consequences there is no change, nor any incentive to change, nor any incentive to compensate the taxpayers who lose out.

I know individuals can sue say the NHS for failures that harm them, but the institutional root of the failure remains largely unaddressed, the nurse, doctor or whoever directly involved may, and it is a big may, be sanctioned but the managers or institution itself rarely if ever face any consequences. Where they do it is usually in the form of a fine which quite frankly just adds insult to taxpayer injury.

Chris Whalen, a US banking analyst put it succinctly with his recent comment "If we don't have consequences in politics then we end up with what we've seen in the last 30 years, which is a permanent political class." How right he is

WitteringsfromWitney said...

PC: Yup, there was a tad of trouble....(bloody blogger again - will probably be hosting this blog on another server at end of month)

Agree with what you say (as usual) and that last para is a brilliant quote!