The Great Debate UK
- Laurence Copeland is a professor of finance at Cardiff University Business School and a co-author of “Verdict on the Crash” published by the Institute of Economic Affairs. The opinions expressed are his own. -
“Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds” Shakespeare, Sonnet No. 94
The Bard’s words sum up one of two reasons why the Attorney General, Baroness Scotland, ought to resign in response to being fined 5000 pounds for employing an illegal immigrant in her home. We have a right to expect nothing but the highest standards from any government officer, especially the country’s top legal officer.
However, the lilies-that-fester issue is not the only one involved here. Although this case may not look to most people as serious as many of the scandals of recent years, it has an additional dimension which is absent from run-of-the-mill cases of ministers (or judges or senior policemen) caught exceeding the speed limit or cruising a red-light district.
Just look at the excuses being wheeled out on behalf of the Baroness. They all amount to saying that the law as it currently stands makes demands on prospective employers that are so bureaucratic, time-consuming and complex that nobody should be surprised if even the Attorney-General, with all the resources at her disposal, gets it wrong.