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Bill of Rights and Responsibilities - green paper
24-03-2009, 04:01 PM
Post: #1
RE: Bill of Rights and Responsibilities - green paper
Ed, the most relevant comment is possibly this one from the Shadow Justice Secretary: "The Green Paper has just one saving grace: it will not result in any legislation this side of a general election - in other words, it is for the birds."
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26-03-2009, 10:14 AM
Post: #2
RE: Bill of Rights and Responsibilities - green paper
Oh, you're no fun!

Just because an Act may be a remote possibility it doesn't necessarily mean that the idea of enshrining principles of good administration in statute isn't still an interesting idea. It isn't outside the realms of possibility that a Tory government may end up doing something similar in the future.
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30-03-2009, 09:52 AM
Post: #3
RE: Bill of Rights and Responsibilities - green paper
"The idea of balancing "rights" with "responsibilities" is one which usually produces a red mist in front of the eyes of public lawyers ..."

But I imagine that's the most excitement most of them ever get!

Still, if they want a formulation, there's always "To each according to his needs, from each according to his abilities."
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01-04-2009, 10:50 AM
Post: #4
RE: Bill of Rights and Responsibilities - green paper
Personally, I'm with Bentham (quoted in the Green Paper, but his arguments glossed over)

Bentham also said "Lawyers are the only persons in whom ignorance of the law is not punished". Irrelevant to the discussion, but I'm always happy to quote criticisms of lawyers.
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01-04-2009, 11:07 AM
Post: #5
RE: Bill of Rights and Responsibilities - green paper
jmynott Wrote:Personally, I'm with Bentham (quoted in the Green Paper, but his arguments glossed over)

Bentham also said "Lawyers are the only persons in whom ignorance of the law is not punished". Irrelevant to the discussion, but I'm always happy to quote criticisms of lawyers.

Or Private Eye's favourite (probably from Peter Cook): "The man is a proven lawyer."
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01-04-2009, 12:56 PM
Post: #6
RE: Bill of Rights and Responsibilities - green paper
You lot had better stop dissing lawyers - my fiancee is one and she would I am sure "utterly tough you up" (a prize for anyone who identifies where that quote's from). I was a gnat's wing away from becoming one myself but wasn't clever enough (this is the point at which you loudly voice your dissent in order to reassure me over my career choices).

The discussion at the beginning of the Green Paper on Mill, Bentham et al is pretty poor and just goes to show how disengaged the government is from academic theory and debate on these issues. If it was an undergraduate essay it would get about 46, a low Third. I speak from experience as I got 46 for an essay I wrote on jurisprudence which was of roughly this standard.

Anyway, we should probably close up this thread shortly on account of its rampant intellectual elitism (most of that admittedly deriving from my posts).
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01-04-2009, 01:13 PM
Post: #7
RE: Bill of Rights and Responsibilities - green paper
For what it's worth (not much probably) the Rousseau reference would get an 'F'.

The Social Contract argues for people to be directly involved in law making and, unless you are, responsibilities don't really apply. He really wasn't that keen on representative democracy; 'the moment a people allows itself to be represented, it is no long free: it no longer exists' - so reference to the Social Contract is very wide of the mark...

Personally I think local government would benefit from more political theory and less of the anti academic attitudes.

Politics is what we do after all... isn't it?
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01-04-2009, 04:01 PM
Post: #8
RE: Bill of Rights and Responsibilities - green paper
Ehammond Wrote:Anyway, we should probably close up this thread shortly on account of its rampant intellectual elitism (most of that admittedly deriving from my posts).

Well before we get back to our normal business of quoting rock lyrics, there's always Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (he of "property is theft" fame):

"To be governed is to be watched over, inspected, spied on, directed, legislated at, regulated, docketed, indoctrinated, preached at, controlled, assessed, weighed, censored, ordered about, by men who have neither the right nor the knowledge nor the virtue. "
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01-04-2009, 04:26 PM
Post: #9
RE: Bill of Rights and Responsibilities - green paper
Ehammond Wrote:"utterly tough you up"

Ed

Is this my life role model Molesworth? sounds like him, "Oh, you wet, you weed, you mite, I shall utterly tough you up!"

Note to self; must get out.

Keith
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02-04-2009, 01:02 PM
Post: #10
RE: Bill of Rights and Responsibilities - green paper
Keith - yes, it is indeed Molesworth, "as any fule kno". Local government has much to learn from Molesworth. I think that we could probably, indeed, sum up our general response to the Green Paper with the words "I mite hav known it" and "chiz chiz chiz". I'm going to stop now.

Yes, what the erstwhile constitutional theorists in the MoJ fail to have realised is that many of these high and mighty minds of Enlightenment (and later) philosophy that they mention were also men who held views that were profoundly anti-democratic (insofar as we understand democracy as meaning modern, Western, representative democracy). Mill is the only one, really, whose views were a bit more "socially progressive" (awful way to describe it but there you go). Even then most of Mill's ideas came from his wife.

The point about policy-making not engaging with academic discourse is a hobby-horse of mine to which I will return at the drop of a hat.
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