Time for Common-sense to be be constitutionalised …

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I’m going to have to stop listening to Radio 4’s Today programme in the mornings. My commute is punctuated with rants at the car radio that must startle fellow travellers on the M6 motorway.

But I can’t help but wonder if it really is all down to me. I mean really, isn’t it time we had a Minister for Common-sense in this country?

Surely if someone had active responsibility, a portfolio, for making sure that government decisions were fair and decent and legal and truthful, then we would see an improvement on the shambles we seem to be witnessing from this and previous administrations.

For instance and for starters here are ten topical things that a Minister for Commen-sense would have been all over had there been one:

  1. Is it fair to discriminate against one key section of your armed forces to the extent they’re not allowed to live in the country they are prepared to die for?
    See: Britain opens door to 36000 Gurkha veterans after policy U-turn …
  2. Is it reasonable to seek to slash the compensation paid to armed personnel injured in the course of carrying out their duties?
    See: MoD court bid to slash injury compensation for soldiers
  3. Is it advisable to stand in parliament and bare-faced lie to defend a statement that is patently false? “We will increase public spending funding”, said Gordon Brown … repeatedly. Although he did blunder and confess a zero % increase (sic).
    See: Brown finally admits that there will be cuts in public spending …
  4. Is it right, as a public servant, to claim the most I can possibly claim under the expense rules, even though that is taking money from the public purse. Especially given the scrutiny applied to lesser public servants, oh, say police men who must account for every farthing.
    See: BBC NEWS | MP expenses row explained
  5. Am I justified in defending my actions as being ‘within the rules’ when those very rules are a) patently tripe and b) defined by myself and my colleagues and c) policed by us too.
    See: MP meets expenses row with defiance
    See: See:Tory MP Bill Cash billed taxpayer £15K rent for …
  6. How useful is it to hold a public enquiry in secrecy? Really. Mr Brown.
    See: FT.com / UK – Brown U-turn on Iraq inquiry secrecy
  7. Is there any point in denying the truth just to save face? If there’s not enough helicopters it’s not your fault. Oh wait, it was you that cut the budget wasn’t it. Even so, Mr Brown don’t be such a bully, have you not heard of … democracy and free speech? Or is the party whip more important.
    See: Brown forces minister to retract parting shot on need for more …
  8. Introducing voluntary ID cards is a really good idea, wait, no it’s not.
    See: Government U-turn on £5bn ID cards | Networking – InfoWorld
  9. Throwing billions of pound of public money at the Olympics will NOT benefit the rest of the UK, just London. So don’t tell us otherwise. It’s just not true is it?
    See: London and the great Olympic myth</</li>
  10. Pouring money into the deep black hole of a recession to keep failed financial institutions afloat is just plain barmy. it’s gambling with the future of generations to come. What happened to the fiscally prudent man you used to be?
    See: Gordon Brown is not building Britain’s future, he’s spending it …

Once he’d worked his way through that lot – and even Peter Mandelson would struggle to do it in a weekend – our Minister for Common-sense may well wonder: Gordon Brown? How can we ever trust that man?

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