One of my educational failures was a year long day release class which I attended many years ago, in ‘Constitutional Administration’. This was designed to stop me from becoming, officially, The-UK’s-Most-Inept-Civil-Servant. Ever.Whilst generally interested in politics, I managed to fail the exam comfortably and retain my title. In fact the ONLY thing I remember from that period were a couple of maxims that our lecturer insisted were as perpetually unchangeable as time itself. One of them was ‘power corrupts; absolute power corrupts, absolutely’. I remembered this one when the British MPs ‘expenses scandal’ was at it’s vitriolic height. But I couldn’t for the life of me remember the other one, until I read about an attempt at people power in Harrow. Harrow’s 200,000 residents were asked to decide whether their current executive structure should remain, or that it should be replaced by a directly elected mayor, plus executive, to govern. They received one response. Oh yeah, that was it: ‘The people get the government they deserve’. Unbelievable.
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