Monday, 1 August 2011

People's Jury? What people? Oh, those people...

... The people from Compass, the utopian wing of the Labour Party have launched a campaign to set up a 'jury' of 1000 random citizens, which is intended to hold our 'feral elites' to account. Although the Graun's bumpf mentions the banker bonuses and the MPs expenses fiddling as well, the Compass page makes it clear that the impetus for this comes from the hacking scandal, which Compass would no doubt like to use to break up Murdoch's holdings in the UK.

In the Graun it is explained:
"Left to their own devices politicians, bankers and media moguls could not regulate themselves.

They share a common culture in which greed is good, everyone takes their turn at the trough, and private interest takes precedence over the public good. They have protected each other and left the British people with a financial and political crisis.

They do what they can get away with, not seeming to care for the common life of our country. And, they are scared of only one thing. Us. The public. If public organisations and citizens are vigilant, that elite won't be able to get away with it again. With the right checks and balances we can put the public interest back into the heart of the system.

Only we, the public, can hold power truly to account by testing whether what happens is in the public interest."

It would be easy to condemn this move out of hand, because of my visceral hatred of socialism, and the fact that almost everyone calling for this is a socialist of some kind, and that, naturally, their conception of such things as 'the public interest' is violently different from my own.

Examine the quote above. It complains that politicians etc cannot 'regulate themselves'. Fuck regulation. What is necessary is that the law applies equally to these people. Next it throws up the 'greed is good' cliché and states; 'private interest takes precedence over the public good'. As the article continues, this mystical public interest comes up again and again. We learn; 'With the right checks and balances we can put the public interest back into the heart of the system.

It seems pretty clear that the supporters of this campaign are misdiagnosing the problem. This is not surprising, given their socialist leanings. Socialists always make the same mistake (when they're not in power and drunk upon it) as made by Mary, the heroine of 'Jamaica Inn'. Confronted by the crimes of a murderous gang of wreckers, she turns for help to the local vicar, Francis Daley. Unfortunately, he happens to be the big boss of the gang. Socialists regard the state as Mary originally regards the vicar, as her best hope of aid against the criminals. Mary learns of her error. Socialists never do, so they continue to expect relief by empowering the engine of their own oppression.

This campaign may be well-meaning, but the solution to the problems it seeks to tackle is not to 'put the public interest back into the heart of the system', but to dismantle that system, to strip away its power to use tax-payers' money to enrich crony corporations, and to enable the law to function equally on the elite as on the common citizen.

Hat tip: Tim Worstall

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