Freesteel Blog » Government Spending (Website) Bill

Government Spending (Website) Bill

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007 at 9:36 pm Written by:

The Government Spending (Website) Bill has just been brought to my attention. According to the Lords Second Reading debate, it’s inspired by The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (We’re not allowed to have the word “Transparency” in an Act of Parliament, because that’s a slogan.)

The basic deal of this proposed legislation is that:

The Treasury shall create, or cause to be created, a publicly searchable website containing information about expenditure by all government departments and executive agencies. Access to the information on the website must [be free and]… within 30 days of the date on which the expenditure was incurred.

The government’s initial response was that the websites they’ve recently been making are so crap they’ve been told not to try to make any more.

I’m sure a little further down the line we’ll hear the other excuses about how it would disproportionately costly to publish what is in effect the straight-forward bank-statement sent with their monthly bank balance, and the usual commercial confidentiality horse-nut, since certain commercial interests might be damaged were the public to find out just how much of a rip-off they were giving.

For at least 30 years, politicians have been shouting “tax-payers’ money this”, and “tax-payers’ money that”, but the State still believes that after it has appropriated our money from us, it becomes theirs, not ours, which means we don’t have a right to know how it is spent, let alone have any actual say in the matter.

Now I’m not one of those who believes there ought to be no taxes; there are a lot of essential things which require sustained collective action, and there are presently no other institutions which come close to implementing them. However, what I object to is the money being squandered. Or — worse than being squandered — large quantities of surplus money falling into the hands of people who become sufficiently empowered to completely pervert the course of democracy.

This — to be frank — is the main issue with surplus cash. It’s not about the greed, the fine wines, fast women, and fat yachts; it’s the spare capital which is then often invested in effective lying in order to obtain the next tranche of stolen cash, no matter what the consequences it leaves behind in the process. That’s where it gets evil.

Anyway, I might as well stop now, since I have just witnessed the finest rant against a politician I am likely to see all year. More like that please.

1 Comment

  • 1. Freesteel » Blog Ar&hellip replies at 28th May 2007, 3:28 pm :

    […] y. There’s a pickpocket at work and you don’t know where. Until you learn to write everything down on a separate piece of paper as you pay for it […]

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