Thursday, 4 November 2010

Speed cameras and photographers

So, the continuing stream of friends and colleagues of Tory ministers onto the Civil Service payroll continues, the latest being two of Dave Cameron's own - something that has angered even close Tory supporters.
This follows on from similar appointments made by other members of the Tory cabinet, which of course has resulted in some of the more unfortunate stories of the new regime.

What is so striking about this is that they don't seem to see the glaringly unfair situation that whilst the civil service undergoes a massive recruitment freeze and huge impending job cuts, Tory ministers think it's perfectly fine to not only bypass normal recruitment procedures but also to fill what should be frozen posts with chums. In an era of austerity, every one of these appointments potentially costs another person their job.

Why can't they see this? The answer is a particular facet of the Tory mindset, and is encapsulated in one object - the speed camera.

This particular (upper class) Tory mindset , of which David Cameron and George Osborne are prime examples, is simple...the law is there for one reason: to protect them (and their property) from others. The courts, police and prisons are all therefore a very good thing, catching thieves, arresting yobs and other undesirables and generally keeping order.

However, when the law encroaches upon their own liberty, that is a quite different matter. In some cases this can be avoidable.  Taxes, for example, can be sorted by a good accountant and an offshore bank account. Speed cameras, though, are a different matter. They affect everyone, and don't recognise wealth or background. Therefore, they are a relentless target of the Tory press. The same applies to congestion charges, traffic wardens and other aspects of traffic control.

It's this mindset that blinds these particular individuals to what many would see as a particularly unfair situation. Because when David Cameron talks about a recruitment freeze and job losses in the civil service, and when others talk about due process and fair and open appointments, it's all irrelevant, because these rules aren't meant to apply to people like him.

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