Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A breed apart

Has it been a week, this is what happens when a marking deadline nears; I was tempted to blog some of the silly, odd etc, etc, quotes from assignments asking if politicians and the media propagandise. Decided against it! For now!!
The theme of many stories over the last seven days has been whether MPs should abide by the same rules as the rest of us. That may not be the question asked all the time but it underlines many of the cases emerging in the media. It makes you think, or it did me: if any of us embezzled money (and I will use that phrase) we would be sacked; also we would be investigated and prosecuted; also our expenses are heavily scrutinised; and we have no right to argue if we have telephone calls or private conversations bugged and perhaps would never know. So why are MPs different?
I think it was Mr Khan, speaking over the weekend, who said something along the lines that MPs should be above suspicion, if you cannot trust them then democracy is in trouble; not exactly but that was the jist. Now who trusts politicians, sometimes their own if they have met them, but politicians are the least trusted profession in Britain. So whether bugging etc should be allowed is a question that should work for all people and the decision should be defensible under the rule of law; MPs should abide by the rule of law as much or more so than the rest of us (as they contribute to making law) and they should under every circumstance be treated as every other public employee. If this happened more people may see them as representatives as opposed to untrustworthy individuals out for themselves. If perception is everything, just making the argument that they should be above trust is counter-productive as well as being counter-intuitive.

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