Sunday, November 30, 2008

The wider public interest?

Two senior UK cabinet members giving ever-so-slightly differing emphasis to a very serious issue today - here and here ...

... I personally think its a topic that should concern all politicians - of whatever level and whatever seniority.

Both Jaqui Smith and Harriet Harman make perfectly valid points - and frankly, very few of us have all the facts at our fingertips at the moment so any final judgement has to be reserved - but I do feel some pretty worrying principles are being potentially challenged by what's happened over the last few days.

Of course, no one is above the law - not even MP's - but all politicians have the right (and surely the responsibility?) to act on sensitive information that may be passed to them in the way that they best judge to be in the wider public interest and, of course, to do so legally.

I've always believed that to be the case, and it's a belief that has certainly been strengthened since my spell in (Council) Opposition following the local elections in May 2007. Those currently in power - at whatever level - need to remember that they also, won't always be in such a position.

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