The UK Government has an explanation of what these principles are on its website – see link below:-
But surely the big question is, does our UK Government live up to its own clearly set out principles? An alternative question could well be, is this a set of principles for UK public life but not for the UK Government?
When I look at our Government I can’t see that it’s following its own lofty guidance, nor can I see much in the way of the press or opposition trying to hold them to these principles either! Rules for ‘us’ but not for ‘them’ in Government should maybe be the 8th principle?
The days of Government Ministers resigning when they had been seen to be seriously in the wrong, acted illegally or not upheld the standards of behaviour that we should be able to expect of our leaders are clearly over, indeed the days of them being sacked when they have not had the decency to resign are also over.
And you know it’s not so long ago that Prime Ministers would, however reluctantly, have demanded the resignation of one of their team who had behaved badly, indeed the press would have called the PM weak if they had not acted swiftly to dismiss a perceived miscreant. Now it seems to be that all these principles have been turned on their head even though we have the relatively modern statement of ‘The 7 principles of public life’ to guide us. Indeed, you could say that before the principles were written down governments pretty much followed them but now we have them written down (probably because standards were clearly slipping) they are pretty much ignored!
My dad, George Robertson, who died in 2009 was from a working class Tory background and he worked his way up into the middle class. He became a director of a Conservative Club and for a number of years was a card carrying Tory. As you might guess my Liberal politics did not mix well with his very right wing approach and it led to my Mum in effect banning us from talking politics because one would wind the other up. But despite Dad and I being literally poles apart politically he had very high standards and could not be doing with liars, cheats and dishonesty. I recall from late 1980’s noticing that he was becoming increasingly annoyed about what he would call the dishonesty in our politics and yes he would call out Tories for this too. He was a avid Daily Telegraph reader but the older he got the more he grumbled about what he saw as the paper’s falling standards. Where we shared a common view it was that we both thought the job of the press was to hold those in power to account not to cheer lead for them.
Looking back and thinking about what Dad was saying in the last 20 years of his life it’s clear to me that he knew the political class was changing and not for the better and though it pains me to say so the old Tory was right!……….