It’s really getting tricky to work out exactly what is going on. Two examples come to mind:
- firstly, as per the Libor revelations – and others, still more awful, in the process of tumbling out – we discover how banking corporations are not obliged to compete with each other: the legislation simply hasn’t been designed to cover their processes and procedures in terms of the framework of free markets we always believed to be the case;
- and secondly, as per the ugly tardiness surrounding the recent privatisation of the NHS: the legislation simply hasn’t been passed to ensure interested legislators cannot vote on matters which financially occupy them;
Which brings me to this recent epetition requesting that someone devise laws that would cover at least the latter case:
Ban MPs from voting on matters in which they have a financial interest
Responsible department: Office of the Leader of the House of Commons
We call on HM Government for new legislation to ensure that:
i. No member of Parliament may speak or vote in a debate on legislation which could financially benefit any commercial operation in which they have a financial interest; and
ii. No member of Parliament may speak or vote in a debate on legislation which could financially benefit any commercial operation which has made – or currently makes – donations to themselves personally or their political party.
We believe this is necessary to prevent corruption. It is also in accord with the spirit of political reform supported by the government.
And this is why I point this out to you today: mainly because I don’t believe the real issue to hand is working out what our leaders HAVE done. That is the job of journalists and other politicians – that is the job of all those who oversee how things work. No. I think the real issue to hand is quite another one. As I tweeted a few minutes ago:
Leaders have spent last 30 years passing laws to control us in order we didn’t notice laws which for their own benefit they haven’t passed.
And when I say leaders, I do mean both business and political. It’s what they DON’T do which should really be occupying us now.
Why has our democracy stumbled into the 21st century with no legislation of import in place to prevent those with certain financial interests from voting on a matter they will benefit directly or indirectly from?
Why have our allegedly free markets been built upon the foundations of a money-pricing system which allows the major banking corporations to collude in fixing their levels?
What other aspects of latterday democratic life simply choose to ignore pressing legal matters such as these – and prefer, instead, to pass laws relating to a whole host of curiously repressive regimes which only really affect the ordinary people?
And where they also – gently but persistently, and into the bargain – end up improperly distracting us from the above.
After all, we’ve had a plethora of constructive and revealing websites and organisations which continually register, define and explain what our leaders have been getting up to and are doing. Isn’t it time, now, that we began to do the same with everything else – that is to say, everything else they quite deliberately HAVEN’T done?
Time for yet another Internet list then?
The hugely important list of all the major pieces of legislation, which those whose intention it is to seriously hobble democracy and free markets have made bloody damn well sure should never happen.
So anyone know where we might start?
Bite-sized replies on a virtual postcard, please!