The wasted 16 million pounds and the missing Minister

The investigation into the collapse of MG Rover in 2005, which resulted in the loss of 6,000 jobs at the plant was finally completed 4 years after its instigation a

MG Rover GroupImage via Wikipedia

t the cost of £16 million.

Just when it appeared that some questions would be answered about the Phoenix Four, the SFO were asked to investigate the collapse, leading to the report being suppressed.

As this is a fairly significant issue in the UK, it is right that the Government are called to explain their actions. But this being the UK, it really isn't as simple as that.

Due to the archaic structure of Government, Ministers can be and are appointed, who have not been elected to office. It is not possible to question unelected Government Ministers in the House of Commons. This may seem perfectly reasonable to the knuckle heads in Parliament, but it is not an acceptable position.

The more unfortunate aspect in this particular case, is that the Minister who can't be questioned is none other than Mandelson.

Mandelson, is the man who was ousted from Office twice due to irregularities in his conduct. Who the voters of Hartlepool threw out at a General Election, then reappeared as one of Blairs special appointment's as a European Commissioner and has now resurfaced under the Brown administration as the Minister of all he surveys.

To Mandelson and the Politico commentators, his re-emergence, is a source of great amusement. His appointment and reincarnation is not in the least amusing. This is a man who has an unquestionably murky past, who at one time was borrowing money off friends to support his lifestyle, but now seems to have vast tracts of wealth, while he has not held a position with a large enough income to explain his largess.

The continued lack of accountability by the Government, which in this case is explained away as 'oh well he is in "the other place"', which can't be seen by the myopic political pundits as anything more than, 'that is the way it is', is untenable.

We require an accountable Government which means Ministers must be open to questioning in the democratically elected chamber, by democratically elected MPs. Anything else is not acceptable. The obfuscation that these ministers can be called in for questioning by committees is not good enough. There are times and the MG Rover situation is one of them, when Ministers need to be questioned straight away.

The appointment by Brown of someone that the people of Hartlepool didn't think was fit to serve them, as an unaccountable Minister has brought the farcical situation whereby Ministers can't be questioned, to a head.

The UK has the facade of a democracy, but in reality, we have a largely unelected and unaccountable Government.


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