Read All About It!
Ingrown Bolshiness and Bossiness are now endemic in the System and complaining gets nowhere slowly.
Have we forgotten why we fought World War II?
A cancer is metastasising in the West. Niall Ferguson in his latest book “THE SQUARE and the TOWER, Hierarchies and the Struggle for Global Power” in Chapter 38 succinctly describes the danger: “The secret of totalitarian success was, in other words, to delegitimize, paralyse or kill outright nearly all social networks outside the hierarchical institutions of party and state, and especially networks that aspired to independent political action.”
Today’s hierarchy hijacks networks to cover up all their cock-ups. This is a slippery slope to an Authoritarian State – especially dangerous if it should ever get into the wrong hands, domestic or EU.
Why does no-one in Academia make a fuss? No-one in the media. No Human Rights lawyer.
That is precisely what my writing in Death of a Nightingale illuminates in two quite different case studies – the paralysing of independent political action where it matters. My latest writing challenging biased Ombudsmen describes a House of Cards on a Foundation of Sand defended by lawyers.
I repeat this:
I flag up a real threat to democracy.
See the danger when solidarity with your colleagues <networks> or just doing your job, maybe because you can’t afford to lose it, pre-empts personal integrity; obfuscation, prevarication and truth-avoidance follow.
The train driver transporting Jews and others to Auschwitz says that he is just a train driver; mind you, in his case if he refused to do his job he and his family would have ended up in Auschwitz. No such excuse for the apparatchiks in the offices of the Local Government and Legal Ombudsman – and in Public Post Mortems like Hillsborough – who sit at their computer terminals and do the job they are hired to do <by their hierarchy> right or very wrong.
One case study describes how a small group of ideologues high-jacked Parliament to impose a size 7 fits all policy on UK’s education with disastrous consequences for many children with special educational needs. In the name of Equality and Human Rights they also killed vocational training for the non-academic half of the school cohort to which equal opportunity to go to Uni did not apply. Others have trapped whole generations of students into a lifetime of crippling debt when scholarships and bursaries should also have been provided for the brightest. An incentive to ambition and, yes, a blind eye to inequality. Fair play and common sense instead.
The other describes how Sustrans, a cycling charity and a cycling lobby and a collection of auto-phobic, egocentrics thinking that everyone else should share their enthusiasm for cycling highjacked both Parliament and the Executive to give effect to it, regardless of expense and health & safety hazards.
Academia never notices the predisposition that some people have to project for others what they want for themselves and then try to impose it on them, democratically of course. Planners never take account of human fallibility. To make matters worse, human rights lawyers create human rights that they apply equally to everyone, even though sometimes they are different and conflict with one another.
My latest case study started with a little protest against the policy of the Newcastle City Council with State funding and backing to introduce cycle lanes for non-existent cyclists and red lines on a very narrow, already congested main arterial road as it passed through an extremely good convenience shopping centre, quite regardless of the cost and damage it would do. It has morphed into something more than that.
This is thoroughly bad news.
- The Local Government Ombudsman whitewashed the Newcastle City Council.
- Bindmans LLP, my bête noire, human rights lawyers of note – shame on them – stamped down on my attempt to take their decision to judicial review despite over 100 pages of evidence given to them. How much time will they use of the 4 months less a week they have till January to instruct their proxy solicitor, BLM, to respond to my pre-action protocol letter? How long to decide whether to play a game of poker with me, raising the stakes by requesting the transfer of my simple claim against them to the High Court?
- The Legal Ombudsman let them get away with it.
- The Solicitors’ Regulatory Authority closed their eyes to it.
There is one thing in common throughout. The people at the top didn’t want to know. Not any of them.
The Local Government Ombudsman didn’t want to own the responsibility for the five Assistant Ombudsmen speaking in her name. The other partners in Bindmans LLP didn’t want to know about the conduct of five of their number, totally ignoring the legal maxim: Nemo judex in causa sua causa. The Chief Legal Ombudsman didn’t want to own the responsibility for the 17 Legal Ombudsmen using her name. And likewise, with the Solicitors Regulatory Authority.
I don’t want to rattle skeletons in the cupboard, but it was the same with the closing of over 100 special schools where, some years ago, I tried to flag up the gross maladministration of the Sunderland Local Authority as it implemented the policy of Inclusion. OFSTED didn’t want to know. A firm of solicitors walked away from it. Two QCs separately carefully distanced themselves away from it. The Local Government Ombudsman didn’t want to know because I was the governor of the school. And, the Audit Commission didn’t want to know. At the end of many days the Audit Commissioners absented themselves from an Aural Hearing leaving it to others to do their dirty work while keeping their own hands clean and their pockets well lined.
Authoritarianism? The “ends” justify the “means”. More than that. It validates both of them.
This whole experience provoked me to write the play Death of a Nightingale and stage it in London. Consistently with the above the Stage Magazine commissioned Jonathan Lovett, a Trot working for the Public Service Union, to blackball it with his review. Miriam Margolyes’ review on the home page of my website helped to keep the show on the road.
The networks I have listed need no word or signal. It is not a conspiracy. It is the nature of metastasis with the cancer of authoritarianism.
And that is the truth of it.
In case you think I am just lambasting Labour with my criticism of two Labour Councils in Sunderland and Newcastle, let me make it clear that I am not. I am full of admiration for the Labour-controlled Council in Gateshead – their vision, the great use of taxpayers’ money not their gross waste of it. The Metro Centre, the Angel of the North, Sage Gateshead, the Baltic Art Gallery, Gateshead Millennium Bridge, and much more.
Until this is put right all three main parties are tainted by it by ignoring it. I have had recent experience of the cancer metastasising in the Tory Party.
For once there is a simple solution. The people at the top should be required to own the responsibility for those speaking in their name and be personally accountable for them, losing their jobs, their fat salaries, and their generous pensions if they mess things up and perpetuate their mistakes ad inf!
“Accountability. Accountability. Accountability.”
As I said last time, Brexit or no Brexit … Even more so, if no Brexit.
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