Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Bonfire Of The Quangoes And The Law

Monbiot makes a good, if in my opinion overdue, point about the 'bonfire of the quangoes' being exactly in line with the neoliberalism critiqued in 'The Shock Doctrine'; but there's another point about this which I can't recall seeing having been made anywhere.
Many of these bodies are established by law, and perform functions which have been delegated to them by statute. It might not be possible just to abolish them overnight. Oh, it's financially possible; all that needs to happen is for the Treasury to stop giving them money. However, it might not be legally possible to do so, unless by driving a coach and horses through the will of Parliament.
I've recently finished reading both 'All The President's Men' and 'The Final Days'. Inter a great deal of alia, a couple of points germane to the situation we're now in arise from them.
The first is that one gets the impression that after Watergate, the political elites determined 'never again' - not that such corruption and misbehaviour would not be permitted of course, but that they just wouldn't do anything foolish enough to let them get caught, or that the law would be bent into such a way that what should otherwise be considered by bad and immoral would instead be considered both good and moral.
The second might have arisen from misreading, but my interpretation of 'All The President's Men' is that in 1972 it was illegal for campaigns to accept contributions from corporations. I would be very interested to know if that law still applies, and very surprised if it does, and if not just when it was altered. My guess would be under either the Reagan or first Bush administrations.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Dutch Boy said...

A recent 5-4 decision by the US Supreme Court struck down limits on corporate campaign contributions and the money (and mud) are flowing!

24 October, 2010 03:41  

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