Wednesday, March 04, 2009

The underlying premise;

The terms of public service are the prerogative of the public.
Fundamental among those terms;

  • public servants are accountable to the public, and to

  • meaningful standards of conduct and competence,

at least for the eight measly hours a day that
we have to "trust" them with the control over our power and
our resources.

There is no downside to
unavoidable accountability to unequivocal standards
except to those who benefit from
shoddy enforcement of poorly written standards.

Meaningful standards of conduct and competence
are the prerogative of the master.
They will be drawn up to suit the interests of the masters,
and not of the servants.

Accountability must be under impartial systems
that are powerful enough to hold even the most powerful,
accountable even against their will.

Meaningful standards of conduct and competence can be written.

Transparent accountability to those standards can be created.

It is not that it can't be done. It is that it won't be done.
Not at least, by those who record of public service cannot
stand the light of day.

We have lost control over power and resources
that are fundamentally our own.

At what point did it become acceptable for a public servant
to respond to his master's legitimate question
about the public interests by saying,
"no comment"

What greater proof of that could you need,
that you have lost control over your power and resources,
than for a public servant to respond to a legitimate question
about either of them by saying;
"It's none of you business."

Our servants are out of our control.
They will not bring themselves under control.

They will not on their own, create an independent
"ethics commission", or any other body,
powerful enough to hold them honestly accountable
for their conduct and competence, even against their will.

They have not, in more than two hundred years.
Why would they start now?

Except that we make them.

It is time to stand up, dig in our heels, and push back.

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