In his examination of the recent unpleasantness re the Serious Fraud Office and Saudi Arabia, Martin Kettle finds much to criticize in the response of the public. Quelle fucking surprise.
Everybody's ordinary life is littered with compromises, inconsistent behaviour and morally questionable decisions. It's far easier to say what you are against than what you are for. Yet we beat up on politicians as though expecting them to inhabit a different moral universe. It's a pathetic and very British habit. It is worth stopping to ask why we are so unrealistic and so wrong. The real wonder is that politicians manage to remain as honest and sensible as most of them do. It all says at least as much about us as it does about them.No, you crawling twat; we beat them up because we expect them to inhabit the same moral universe as the rest of us; the one where allegations of fraud are not excused on the grounds of political inconvenience. Or “no ifs, no buts” is just for the little people, right? That and the other 3000 ways in which the government have thought it appropriate to improve our collective behaviour by means of legislation.
What makes Kettle’s pusillanimity even more galling is that any charges would likely have been brought under legislation that the government introduced itself in 2002. They’re not just given a pass on obeying rules against fraud everyone else is subject to, they’re not liable to full investigation under laws they make themselves.