30 June 2008

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

I've noted several times on this blog the tension between openness and privacy, but reading the excellent Your Right to Know blog - which, to my shame, I've only come across recently - another dimension became apparent.

This is the interesting contrast between what UK politicians want to do to us in terms of constant surveillance and intrusion into our private lives, and their own - outraged - refusal to allow us to do the same, even when it concerns them spending our money through their extremely generous allowances. For example, try this for hypocrisy:

However, I should tell those who press and press such issues that, sooner or later, the allowances will be rolled into our salary, handed out without any claim mechanism or dealt with under some other device, because it is intolerable that this intrusion into Members’ private lives should have to be endured or should be permitted, and something will happen to prevent it from going too far. We can see what will happen: local news reporters and local political opponents will start trying to air these issues in public, which will be demeaning, as well as reducing the stature of Parliament and damaging our democracy. It cannot be right that things should reach such lengths.”

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