Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Rest in Peace Honesty, Integrity, Honour and Standards?


Now I usually steer clear of political commentary however…

Once again here in the UK I am left wondering about the mindset and thought processes of some of our supposed ‘leaders’ – and once again this wonder has been ignited by our politicians - in this particular case the matter of Maria Miller.

In the first instance this MP has been found guilty, by the independent parliamentary commissioner for standards, of defrauding the public purse to the tune of £45,000, with the recommendation that she should repay this sum.

Then the Commons Standards Committee set a figure some £40,000 lower as the sum she should repay, so what ‘standards’ are they upholding – those that support their own and in effect reward those who ‘feather their own nests’ or those that reflect the need not to protect the tax payers money and send a clear message that such actions of self interest are not acceptable and will not be tolerated. 

The lady in question was elected to a high level of public office, presumably because she wanted to be, nobody forced her. In my mind incumbent upon those in a civic leadership role is the requirement to act in an ethical and morally just manner, to not to do so is abhorrent and unpalatable, to be caught not doing so and expect to ‘get away’ with a half hearted apology is crass and insulting to us – the electorate; treating us effectively as ‘morons’ who cannot see what is really happening.

The correct action here was to have paid back the full £45,000 erroneously claimed, given an unreserved and full apology and stepped away from the senior position; I would go so far as to say to even have resigned as an MP to demonstrate total and true contrition.

Here we potentially have a case of ‘Sorry’ that I was caught stealing, rather than sorry that I stole and regrettably it shows that the excesses of the years gone, by all sides of the house, have still to be swept away and be fully reformed.

This is all made all the less palatable when set against the recent high profile story of a man with learning and other disabilities literally starving to death due to their essential benefits being withdrawn by ATOS in order to reduce unnecessary wastage of tax payers money.

The party leaders need to stop bickering over the ballot box, have their heads banged together and go and do the same to the rest of their ‘flocks’ – it is time to get the broom into the corners and ensure that the taxpayers money, our money, goes to those who need it and not on where the ‘loopholes’ allow it.

Leaders should demonstrate the highest level of integrity; if they get something wrong they should expect to pay the price of stepping down voluntarily and moving on, not to do so should lead to a questioning of their judgement by those around them and their suitability to hold the position they are in – this has not been the case with Maria Miller or many others in the recent past.

Mr Cameron, My Clegg, Mr Milliband (In alphabetical order) it is your time to show you can lead your parties, eliminate the malpractices, working collaboratively, co-creationally and co-operatively to deliver a ‘fit for purpose’ process to support the governance of the country; all before the electorate is asked to trust you with leading said country at the next general election. Be an exemplar, set the standard and show us the way.

It is time for honesty, integrity, honour and standards to be re-born and valued for what they are – essential and central to our society and way of life – thank you for reading and please leave a comment if you wish.