The Fat House of Lords

The House of Lords is, as the political commentators are keen to point out, the second largest legislative chamber in the world. The largest is in China, a nation of 1.4 billion people, compared with the 64 billion people of the United Kingdom.
It shows just how much the United Kingdom’s politicians and its establishment love patronage; they love it more than democracy.  Continue reading

Chilcot: the Forest Beyond the Long Grass

In July 2009 John Chilcot opened an Inquiry into the lessons of the Iraq War. Mr Chilcot was a senior civil servant and over the past six years seems to have been singularly unfitted for the task. It was a case of the great and the good inquiring into the lies and mistakes and  scandals of the Iraq War not caused by the military but by the elected politicians and the civil servants of the time – in other words the great and the good. I would expect a civil servant to be well practiced in the art of kicking difficult problems far into the forest beyond the long grass, and Mr Chilcot has not changed my expectation by his conduct of the Inquiry.  Continue reading

The Great and the Good Leaving Stones Unturned

Corruption in the United Kingdom is a subtle process. The great and the good are the recipients of largess in honours, titles and money doled out by governments. It is inevitably a political process in which the great and the good become greater and better but part of this game is that the great and the good of one party are attacked by the great and the good of another party, all in a perfectly civilised way, and as a result our society becomes more unequal as merit is replaced by connection. Continue reading