Nov 27 2013

Petition: Launch an inquiry into the relationship between UK parliament and City of London.

Posted by: Nicholas Shaxson in: Thoughts

From Change.org, a petition that’s right up my street. It’s UK-focused, but relevant for the whole world. Please sign it, and share this widely.

The Committee on Standards in Public Life: Launch an inquiry into the relationship between parliament and City of London.

Owing to three identified areas of concern and associated evidence already placed before the committee in the form of a joint letter – see here –  the relationship between Parliament and the City Corporation in its particular capacity as direct and in-direct “lobbyist” alongside its other capacities, may compromise the Nolan principles of public life and may lead to policy outcomes that are not in the public interest.

The letter identifies three areas of concern in this relationship:

1. Direct Lobbying, particularly through the office of the City Remembrancer inside Parliament.

2. Indirect Lobbying, particularly through the work of “The City UK” and

3. The City’s failure, in its electoral processes, to meet undertakings to Parliament pursuant to the City of London (Ward Elections) Act 2002.

Taken together, these three areas of City Of London activity indicate a problematic arrangement that has built up within our democratic institutions.  This relationship has been left unexamined.

Public confidence in Parliament is key, but an apparent disregard for Parliamentary statute, the need for public accountability and hugely disproportionate, unmonitored and unaccountable levels of influence over central government will only serve to weaken public trust in our national institutions.

A transparent process of scrutiny driven by widespread and growing civic concern and conducted within the auspices of this Committee would very clearly serve the public interest and greatly improve the quality and transparency of our democratic processes.”

I think that Treasure Islands probably can claim to have lit the initial touch paper on this. This part of the book certainly got a lot of attention. But NB: In early editions of the book, I didn’t get that particular chapter 100% right – see here.

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