Tuesday, 15 March 2011

It seems that scrutiny is becoming a buzzword ...

... in our very own Bay of Fundy, for those unfamiliar the bay which is to be found in Canada, it has the greatest tidal range in the world, a total of 17 meters; our Bay of Fundy is of course Cardiff Bay, though the vast quantity of Fundy water is replaced in Cardiff by an enormous amount of hot air, in the most part.

Amazingly, in our dynamic political powerhouse, even the Remuneration Board for the National Assembly is trying to get in on the act by encouraging our politicians to fill the democratic deficit the public know exists by the complete lack of effective scrutiny, much like a democratic black hole that sucks political moderation from our Wales politic; this independent body has confirmed both a four year pay freeze for Assembly Members and confirmed its independence is an illusion fostered by politicians to deceive the public.

If the the Remuneration Board for the National Assembly were an independent body its mandate would not include statements, such as that found at Betsan's Blog ....

The Board is clear what it wants to see in return. From May AMs must demonstrate that at least one of their staff work "to support them in the formal committee and Plenary business of the Assembly and with a significant research element". The message is clear - the quality of scrutiny is as vital as the constituency casework undertaken by all 60 members.

.... it's the third from last paragraph, presumably Betsan Powys thought she was demonstrating that by having that particular statement at the end of the piece, her readers would gain a happy glow, that feeling deep inside that things are going to be OK, well both she and the Remuneration Board are wrong, scrutiny is not going to be helped by employing poorly paid assistants, who presumably will be politically akin to the Assembly member who selects them; scrutiny needs a little more than the equivalent of a low paid civil servant in a sycophant suite of clothes.

Scrutiny needs to be awkward, it needs to make politicians uncomfortable, it needs to ask the questions that government avoid, and then some ....... it needs the power to demand answers for all to hear.

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