Everybody makes mistakes
Public figures are often defined or remembered by their mistakes, but it is rare for their careers to end as a consequence. Observing the proceedings of the general election in May and its repercussions, I can’t help thinking that a fairer system of dealing with dissembling politicians and other violations should be considered.
Failure to discharge public duty should not be regarded as acceptable conduct and the Scottish people should encourage the introduction of statutory measures to deal with such cases. All elected representatives have a responsibility to act in the best interests of those who elect them; and breaches of trust, codes of conduct or moral authority should not be allowed to go unchallenged.
In any other professional environment, such failures would be regarded as misconduct and the individual responsible held to account. Shouldn’t we expect the same disciplinary protocols for Members of Parliament, the Scottish parliament and local councils? I don’t think anyone should necessarily go to jail for breaking promises, but I do think the people of Scotland have a right to expect probity, loyalty, commitment and some record of achievement from those entrusted to represent their interests, and who are remunerated from public funds.
It is not beyond imagination to introduce measures to remove any elected representative from office quickly if it can be proven that they have committed a wrongdoing. That way, the electorate might regain some control over the democratic process held so dear in every constituency and every ward.