Monday, March 30, 2009

Is it fair to call our politicians corrupt?

Hands in the till, noses in the trough, riding the gravy train, fiddling the expenses, cheating, crooked, sleazy, corrupt, dishonest...

There are lots of examples we can cite to justify such accusations.

But in Britain, as far as we know, nearly all politicians stick to the rules, the rule-breakers are punished, and the rules are being progressively tightened to catch misuses of taxpayers' money. Transparency and punishments should be greater, but that's not the point.

No, the real story is that the people in power lack judgement. They fail to see that the rules do not currently prohibit behaviour that the public perceives as wrong.

This failure might, in itself, be sufficient reason to doubt their value as decision-makers, unless they possess other skills of great worth. So let's see... financial acumen no, diplomacy no, understanding of science no, commitment to a free and free society no, powers of persuasion no, competence in running services no...