The Great Debate UK

Jack Straw cites trust as top issue for UK democracy


In a wide-ranging lecture in London on Monday hosted by Brunel University‘s Magna Carta Institute, Justice Secretary Jack Straw outlined his thoughts on the state of democracy in Britain and beyond.

After the talk, Straw told Reuters that the most pressing issue in UK democracy is the need for politicians to restore public trust following an expenses scandal that forced the main political parties to work together to resolve the crisis.

“People feel a bit detached from the political system,” Straw said, adding that it is important to work out ways to “get people back into connection.”

Disclosures earlier this year that MPs claimed on their expenses for everything from manure to porn films triggered public outrage. The controversy led MPs to oust parliament’s speaker for the first time in 300 years.

from UK News:

Iraq cabinet minutes remain secret

So we're not going to know the full details of what the cabinet thought about going to war in Iraq.

Justice Minister Jack Straw has blocked the release of cabinet minutes on the subject on the grounds that to open them up would undermine democratic decision-making. If ministers thought everything they said in cabinet was going to be made public, his argument ran, they might be reluctant to express their full and frank views and therefore the principle of collective cabinet responsibility would be undermined.