Does our Government understand what accountability means?


Most politicians if challenged about making themselves accountable will argue that they get voted for by their constituents at each General Election and that is their key form of accountability. However it is clear to everyone else that setting out such ideas is a pack of nonsense. In some settings there is some marginal truth to that but the votes generally only happen every 5 years and in around 80% of constituents there is very little prospect of the political party getting changed, even if the party chooses to reject their candidate from time to time. Equally when a broadcaster or published media agency places a politician in a difficult position, the way in which the person will respond to the same agency on the following day or next few days is bound to be much more cautious. Indeed in the case of inexperienced Politicians, if they were sent in without any training they may well get their fingers burnt on their visit in the public setting. However in a Government that has been in power since 2010 and with Ministers who have been well experienced at standing in Parliament and meeting wealthy donors, there is no credible basis for a lack of engagement with a broadcaster or newspaper. So given that our Government has refused to send any Ministers to Newsnight for two months throughout the COVID-19 timescale is deeply concerning. However when it turns out that they also are ignoring GMB (primarily through Piers Morgan) and Channel 4 primarily through Cathy Newman this begins to raise serious concerns about how accountable the Government actually are to our nation. Perhaps we need to find a way of taking the Government out into public in a manner that is very different to the 5pm COVID-19 setting which they control and determine who can ask questions each time. Indeed given tonight’s presentation with Priti Patel being asked some very basic questions over her proposals for quarantining visitors it is clear that her ability to close down because she is in control of the event is deeply disturbing. Let us hope that we can quickly bring Priti and many of her colleagues to account in some other way – perhaps a petition will be needed!

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
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1 Response to Does our Government understand what accountability means?

  1. Rob Furber says:

    Yet again Ian you hit the nail right on the head. I’ll admit I have noticed that for two months Emily Maitlis has had to utter the words “Unfortunately, though we asked the government to…… They have not been forth comikng in sending anyone to answer questions.

    What frustrates me is that it isn’t some returned antagonism (like it was for the TODAY programme until #lockdown intervened – now for television it seems just ‘fear’ of scrutiny (who would want to meet with that idiot Piers Morgan )

    Thi sis Johnsonm tactic all over (he never appeared in a Conserrvatrive Party Husting)

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