Over the last few years, government sleaze, favoritism and duplicity have come to centre stage in political debate. From the Expenses scandal in 2009 to the Panama Papers leak in 2016, the public has become increasingly desensitized to felonious and underhanded government conduct. A troubling lack of accountability and justice has left bad actors feeling emboldened and untouchable. That brings us to where we stand in 2021 in the face of brazen cronyism: shocked, but not surprised.
The powers of public office have been routinely abused, with the current party of Government allegedly abusing its power to benefit its members and their friends, silence its opponents and avoid any and all responsibility for its own failures of governance.
Democracy is unable to function properly under these circumstances.
When money and personal connections translate directly into political influence, individual voices are inevitably silenced. Cronyism is antithetical to democracy.
The Conservative government under PM Boris Johnson faces a number of allegations concerning sleazy behaviour. To name a few:
– Rishi Sunak and Matt Hancock favouring personal connections in giving out taxpayer money.
– Leaked texts between Boris Johnson and Sir James Dyson, Johnson promising to “fix” tax concerns for Dyson Limited.
– The Greensill scandal (Which Parliament voted 357-252 to block a cross-party inquiry into)
– Government encroachment on our tax-funded civil service which needs to remain independent.
The list goes on. Unfortunately, this type of behaviour has become par for the course and billions of pounds of your taxpayer money are at stake. As a democratic society, we have a responsibility to make sure that money is spent according to the will of the people, not as partisan favours or through backroom deals.
As we outlined in our 2020 report Democracy in the Digital Age, the rules need to be changed in favour of more transparency and accountability – to embody the democratic principles that modern Britain purports to champion. We can’t change this broken system without meaningful legislative changes. Let’s get to work.
Join us in standing for accountability.