Friday, January 23, 2009

The necessary muck-out

This Wednesday, the clean-up of politics started in America with the pledge by the new US President to introduce new rules for openness and integrity in public life. Lucky Americans!
Here, unfortunately, things don’t look as promising. In recent years, the political structures have been contaminated by sleaze and corruption, with the Labour party taken over by rogues and opportunists, in much the same way that organised-crime racketeers infiltrated the Labour movement in the 1930s America. This phenomenon, albeit to a much smaller extent, has also gained ground inside the other political factions.
Politics in Britain is now seriously tainted, in need of a thorough cleansing, a revitalization of ethics and the reinstatement of the rule of law. Without firm action the decay will continue; it has already spread into many, once respectable, state institutions, and even some, more vulnerable, sections of society have now been corrupted by the humiliating dependence on the political power, and turned into tools of control for the state.
The malign influence of this state of affairs on the human character and dignity is growing alarmingly visible.
Ethics, it’s been said, becomes an issue only when things become dangerous; hence, with the coming recession, an ethical revival in British politics should be treated now as a matter of urgent priority.

To clean the stables and make it such that, in future, only the best men and women are eligible to represent us is, of course, a Herculean task – but not a task that a strong-willed political leader, and a good sweeping broom, would be unable to achieve.


“AUGEAS: But it makes a difference whether we muck out just a bit or whether we have a radical muck-out. If we muck out just a bit, after a year, the muck will stand as high as it stands now or even higher, considering the amount of it we produce. Therefore we have to muck out radically.” (Friedrich D├╝renmatt, The Augean Stables)

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