UK: Good questions do have an impact
The British government makes big promises for more open governance. This may well be a consequence of a wob-request for the expenses of British MPs, which ended up causing a big scandal last year.
The incoming UK government may have learnt from last year’s scandal about MP expenses, that initially was triggered by a wob request by journalist Heather Brooke and later followed up by data release to the Telegraph. A more optimistic version about one of the first moves of the incoming British government would be that it simply trusts its citizens.
If the promises by David Cameron & Co made a few days ago are carried out, the British government may well take the lead in Europe for a while: Publishing expenses, gifts and meetings, publishing name, position and income of the 172 officials with the highest salaries and preventing lobby-abuse of inside knowledge of politicians with its new ministerial code.
The fact, that the spell is already broken about the highest salaries and the public spending database COIN, gives an optimistic start, so let’s all see and keep an eye on this.
Also in the US the government trusts its citizens to judge for themselves. The US provides to its citizens the right to know the figures of who pays their politicians – be that in campaign donations or via lobbyists.
Let the public judge themselves, whether BP means British Petroleum or Big Problem – and how BP is related to politicians and administration. Our readers are, after all, educated and thinking people.
Let’s be inspired. Read a rough comparison between some EU transparency rules and the new UK rules on the Euobserver.com.