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Raising the Standards of Politics?
Publication date: 2002-03-19

Can Politicians be Honest?

In connection with recent preoccupation with sleaze in Britain a journalist wrote an article in a British national daily entitled: “Raising the Standards of Politics in Britain”.

But is such thing possible?

Political government has been with us for so long that most people can't tell the difference between “government” and “politics”.

Government is the dull, boring, difficult and necessary task of administration of a country, a county, a town, etc.

Politics is the practice of people trying to use the power of government to obtain some advantage to themselves at somebody else's expense and of the politicians using this human tendency to advance their careers by either promising to do something for somebody, or by passing laws which favour one group at the expense of another.

Because this practice of politics is incompatible with the task of honest government, and because those elected with the aim of providing government spend their time and effort on politics, government suffers, and falls into disrepute.

Once we understand that ‘politics’ and ‘government’ are not the same thing, it becomes clear that to talk about ‘raising standards of politics’ is like talking about raising the standards of fraud, shoplifting, etc.

One can, however, talk meaningfully about raising the standards of government. And the only way to achieve that is to eradicate politics from government by defining what exactly the purpose of government is, how this purpose can be achieved by honest (non‐political) means, and establishing effective controls that the powers of government are not abused (by the politically minded).

Politics is not confined to government alone, it is practiced in the corporate environment and with the same results. Most business failures and scandals can be traced to those entrusted with the task of management indulging in corporate politics.

Politics can also be observed in family and personal relationships. In fact politics is just a form of dishonesty, and nothing else.

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