Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Jacqui Smith are now scared to death!

Posted by: Will Rhodes

You can, of course add Jack Straw to that list.

Cameron and Brown will now, very quickly move in one direction or another – those directions will be to distance themselves from Obama or they will do something that seemed quite impossible just a matter of a day ago – and that is look at giving the UK a more open and accountable government.

President Obama said during the campaign that he would do this, and he has – in a matter of hours in office he signed executive orders:

on government ethics and transparency as part of a packed first full day in office.

The measures include curbs on lobbying and a pay freeze for senior White House staff. Federal employees will have to sign up to new ethics procedures.

The new president said he was beginning “a new era of openness” in government.

Not only that, which isn’t in the BBC story:

As he outlined Wednesday, he is expanding the release of documents under the Freedom of Information Act, which, among other things, allows journalists and everyone else to uncover what our leaders are really doing.

He pledges to force himself, as well as previous presidents who may want to keep certain information confidential, to first make a case for why the information can’t be public to the attorney general and the White House counsel.

That means this man – the one that Brown and Cameron wish to emulate; has opened up both government to transparency as well as the executive branch – will they do the same?

Personally I can’t see it – what I can see is excuses as to why they can’t do it – it will be along the lines that the parliamentary system isn’t the same.

But that, surely, smacks of hypocrisy?

We will see – but I don’t hold any hope on that one. What say you jack Straw?

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About Bolshy

Blogging in the ether to see if that elusive literary agent or publisher wants some new talent.
This entry was posted in Bias, Big Brother Britain, Blah!, Blogroll, Blogs, Comment, Conservatives, Democracy, Democrats, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Media, Modern Liberty, Personal philosophy, Politics, Sociology, Technology and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Jacqui Smith are now scared to death!

  1. ajehals says:

    >will they do the same?

    I’m confused by this. The UK government is already a fair way along the road of government transparency, whether it comes to contracts, internal decision making or statistics. Sure there have been breaches of the rules that they have implemented (notably statistics on knife crime and the attempt to hide a breakdown of costs for the various DSS contracts), but the UK government can hardly be seen as closed as compared to the US government.

    As to lobbying, well, I really cannot see the comparison between the UK and US. Interest groups and lobbists have considerably less impact on the UK than in the US.

    I am however impressed that Obama is moving so rapidly in the direction that he is, it may even encourage more rapid change within UK government institutions, but to suggest that the UK is some how lagging behind the US in terms of ethics, lobbying or even transparency is laughable (unless you can give me a comparison that makes it clear of course, I may have missed something).

    Take a look at the article you linked, some of the measures being implemented have been the norm in the UK for the best part of a century (officials excepting gifts?). The two systems of government make comparison somewhat difficult, but I would say that the US has a lot of catching up to do, not that UK leaders should start quaking in their boots.

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