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February 03, 2007



Raise the voting age to 35.


Yeah, let's get rid of those warmongering teenagers who INSISTED we invade Iraq, like Tony Blair.

A challenge - can anyone give a convincing reason why implementing a word filter on "dearieme" wouldn't be an increase in net information?


I wasn't just referring to the latest Smith Institute and cash for honours story, but all areas of mismanagement and sleaze involving this government which Guido and Iain have constantly written about,the instant impact they have had, how they are beating the mainstream media by being fearless. You don't see that same approach from Labour bloggers.


Um, Ellee, yes you do. Amongst many Labour bloggers (of which I am emphatically NOT one) there are lots and lots of complaints about government sleaze and mismanagement. Lots. Many of them are at least as pissed off with NuLab as right wing blogger.


[We should ask: are they people of great soul, worthy to represent our nation and to be entrusted with big decisions?]

Two points, Chris:

1. I think the results are in from the 20th century experiment in asking the public to put its trust in what it perceives to be "great souled individuals" and the conclusion is that as a bunch, we have really lousy taste in great souled individuals.

2. Why is it not possible to walk and whistle at the same time? These approaches aren't mutually exclusive. Even if you had the greatest soul in the world in the top job, it would still make sense to keep checking up on him. Similarly, constant minor breaches of rules are the number one indicator that someone isn't such a rainmaker after all - BMW have great designers and great engineers, but they don't cut corners on QA and QC.

Finally, I don't think your premis is valid; politicians who keep on staying "just" on the right side of the rules, avoiding breaching them on technicalities, tend to get the reputation of a George Galloway or Jeffrey Archer - of being chancers and untrustworthy. It's certain that whatever happens in cash for honours, it will have damaged Blair.

Surely the correct compromise is principles-based regulation, like the FSA and Takeover Panel run, where the enforcement mechanism is legalistic, but the code of rules is broad, allowing the regulator to describe behaviour as noncompliant without having to point to a technical breach.

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