Thursday, July 09, 2009

She wrote a cheque out – and three grand more and that's my yearly income

I don't usually read the Guardian but the hacking story today was rather close to home and very interesting and so I have purchased a copy. Delving into the inner pages I stumbled across a story yet to come to my attention about a lady called Lisa Greenwood who was essentially sacked for having a less than worshipping view of Hazel Blears.

Mrs Greenwood, who worked at the Department for Children, Schools and Families, was rather miffed to see the Chipmunk on TV waving around a cheque which, in the eyes of many, was proof she had broken the rules for MPs expenses. After sending an e-mail via the excellent They Work For You website, she received information saying that she had been suspended. After a subsequent meeting, she was then told she was sacked.

She sent an e-mail from her personal e-mail compaining about an MP whose wages she contributes towards and who had by her own admission broken the rules and she gets sacked?

So often do we have to use them about this government that '1984 is a warning, not an instruction manual' and 'Big Brother state' just become meaningless.

"I just had to get it off my chest. I have not said anything awful – it is not that extreme and I wasn't saying she should be killed, I was just having a moan. Hazel Blears is the one I want to tell, she is the one working for us. They are not in this ivory tower somewhere."

She said her case had stirred up a debate about data protection. "A lot of people are now worried. We are human and now people are worried if they send something anonymously it will be flagged up. So we have to remain impartial as a civil servant, but why allow us to vote? It is ludicrous that we are not able to have an opinion. Hazel Blears has made a mistake and she has got her job still."

And she's exactly right. Blears is in a position of responsibility in this country and along with many MPs has proven that she could not be trusted.

The sort of people who make rules regarding taxation and who pass laws saying that people who commit crimes should go to prison then stick two fingers up to us the tax payer, us the voter and do as they wish.

But again, over the past few months the angry, frustrated articles on these issues do tend to blend together as we sit there in amazement at the state of our institutions and how on earth they got this bad.

But then what really are we going to do about it? People have forgotten that we were all clamouring for a General Election because in the mind of the public that was a million years ago.

So I guess it will all just go on and people like Lisa Greenwood and bloggers who risk our jobs to say what we think will just have to go on hoping that we're not the next ones to get fired for daring to have an opinion.


The Minstrel Boy said...

I too, keep drawing parallels with George Orwell's novels. In this case it's 'Animal Farm'. Quote,- 'All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others'. Hazel Blears is just another of the porkers with her snout in the trough, making up the rules as she goes along to suit whatever situation she finds herself in. While we're on the subject of porkers, John Prescott is kicking off about the newspapers trying to listen in on his phonecalls. What grounds for complaint can he have when MPs are supposed to be making themselves more accountable and transparent to the electorate. This is something that the labour government want to do to everyone in the country, including their private emails. It's just like the film, 'Enemy of the state'. They don't like it when you turn the tables on them!

James Higham said...

So I guess it will all just go on and people like Lisa Greenwood and bloggers who risk our jobs to say what we think will just have to go on hoping that we're not the next ones to get fired for daring to have an opinion.

Yes Trixy. I do believe in the principle of collective responsibility within and organization, as long as they are minor matters of disagreement.

However, when the fundamental direction is worng and the person is a non-comp, then what can one do? Make snide remarks to colleagues and be one of those or come out and say it openly?

This is the great sadness today - the devaluing of the right to say what is right.

I have a Nigel Farage vid up at my place and this is what it's all about.