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Saturday, March 03, 2018

Is Our Political Class Incompetent?

I watched the first half of BBC's Question Time on catch-up, and there was the old, dangerously avuncular Ken Clarke explaining how those who voted Leave hadn't considered all the - oh, so complicated - implications.

Sadly, no-one there thought to take him up on the question of contractual due diligence. For after Parliament voted to end the UK as a free country - as Tony Benn pointed out - in 1993, Ken Clarke, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, boasted that he hadn't read the Maastricht Treaty.

He was not alone: Douglas Hurd, then Foreign Secretary, said (Maastricht signing, 7 February 1992) "'Now we've signed it – we had better read it!'"

What would any commercial business do with a contracts manager who waved through agreements without even looking at them?

So I'm not inclined to take seriously any waffle from the old Bilderbergian about knowing exactly how everything will pan out before making a decision.

And no - not incompetent, or at least. not merely incompetent: arrogant, antidemocratic and treacherous.


wiggiatlarge said...

Judging by the way government contracts have panned out over the years I have serious doubts as to whether they employ contracts managers.
Unlike the private sector there never seem to be any penalty clauses other than for the taxpayer.

Sackerson said...

JD responds:

Yes is the simple answer to that question. How many of them have any experience of life outside the world of politics or journalism?

I think Tony Benn said the exact same thing about living in a free country during the 1975 referendum campaign when he campaigned alongside Enoch Powell against remaining in the 'Common Market'.

(Parliament actually abolished itself with the passing of the European Communities Act, 1972. This was confirmed by Lord Justice Laws in 2002: European Law overrules English and Scottish Law).

Most will blame Heath for taking us into the Common Market and blame John Major for the 'ever closer union' with the Maastricht Treaty and other Treaties but everyone conveniently forgets that Mrs Thatcher was enthusiastically in favour of the 'single market':

"By 1993 Europe will be our home market. That means that we won't just be exporting to eleven other countries. We will be doing business in a single domestic market."

- Margaret Thatcher, speaking at the start of the “Europe Open for Business” campaign. 18 April 1988

Your last paragraph is a perfect summary and is why people have been voting against the 'career' politicians in recent years.


"What would any commercial business do with a contracts manager who waved through agreements without even looking at them?"

Ask Mike Ashley. He bought Newcastle United FC without looking at the Club's accounts!