Thursday 3 May 2012

How on earth can that be?

There's a BBC radio programme called "The Unbelievable Truth" in which contestants make up improbable stories which contain a number of facts which are actually true,  which other contestants are challenged to spot.

However, with surprising regularity "facts" which seem absurd emerge from our highly sophisticated democracy, allegedly in the hands of the best and most highly educated brains in the country for decades, which would challenge the inventiveness of these radio comedians.

Last week we learned that policemen involved in public disorder incidents give written evidence on what they have observed but cannot be questioned on their statements.  This seems an absurd exemption.  Who on earth thought of it and why?  Since the police are frequently accused of provoking or contributing to the disorder, and reacting disproportionately or even illegally, this is a particularly serious breach of the concept of our equality before the law.

Yesterday it was revealed that more than 2 000 senior civil servants, mostly on long term engagements, have designated themselves as private companies in order to minimise their tax bills, and that the Treasury, surely the department most responsible for seeing that we all pay our fair dues,  has so far sanctioned these measures.

It is indeed an Alice in Wonderland world.

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