For the first time since I was about 12, I think I’d rather be living in the US than the UK.
I’ve spent all day with BBC News in the background and it’s depressing. So many jobs going, hard-working people being forced onto the dole pile and the pound diving lower almost every minute. My upcoming trip is going to be a lot more expensive than it would have been only 6 months ago.
However, one pair of statements really made my ears prick up.
First up was the Labour plan to exempt MPs from having to disclose their expenses. After all the fuss in recent months regarding those very people screwing us over because they knew they could hide it, what on earth made them think it would be a popular move with the voting public to legalise hiding such details?
Amazingly, though, their own MPs and Conservative opposition actually made loud rumblings against it and it seems it won’t get through – assuming they don’t find another way to bury it. Given the whole Freedom of Information thing, any fiddling would all come to light anyway. Just too late for us to to anything other than point fingers But to try and hide it all in the first place… pathetic.
Completely the opposite was Obama‘s first statement as President. All wages of high-earning White House staff have been capped. The giving and receiving of gifts (*cough*bribes*cough*) banned from lobbyists to members of the Administration. Outright. No more can lobbyists walk into an administrative position and work on anything to do with what they used to lobby for. Likewise, no member of staff can walk out and into a lobbying position against the Administration.
Sheer common sense, but unfortunately simple guidelines that have been ignored in the past. Now they’ve been put into place formally so that hopefully a reduction in corruption will follow.
Essentially, while our government throws a hissy fit about not being able to be secretive, the US government has announced a plan to be more transparent than it has been for decades. As the title says – this is a bit backwards to the last few years, isn’t it?