Westminster Parliament used self regulation for decades to protect members unacceptable conduct on expenses. SELF REGULATION, the infamous liars charter which many professions and public services use to protect themselves against complaints from the general public, and even the law itself, is to end at Westminster, according to the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, and the leader of the Conservative Party, David Cameron.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown speaks about the end of self regulation at Westminster after politicians from all parties were caught looting taxpayers money for personal expenses.
Conservative leader David Cameron also speaks about the end of self regulation at Westminster.
Yes, self regulation must now be ended in the UK political system, as it had utterly destroyed the public's faith & trust in the Westminster Parliament.
However, self regulation as we all know is a popular facility which many professions & industries and public services within the UK also use to protect themselves against public complaints of bad conduct, poor service, lack of honesty, theft & embezzlement of client & public funds, and in the case of Doctors, even negligent medical decisions which lead to the deaths of patients.
A roll call of self regulation and how it has affected all our lives :
Self regulation of bankers ensured lack of independent scrutiny of Sir Fred Goodwin's actions at Royal Bank of Scotland. Self regulation of the Banking & Finance sector has cost the UK dearly, and virtually brought public finances to the brink of bankruptcy, as bankers such as Sir Fred Goodwin's over zealous takeovers while in charge of the Royal Bank of Scotland have plunged the UK Banking sector into collapse and worldwide disrepute.
Doctors are self regulated by the General Medial Council, where complaints get less than a fair hearing according to many patients. If you have ever tried to complain against a Doctor, or medical facility such as a hospital, you will find that self regulation plays an extensive part in ensuring patients complaints are kept within the medical profession, and never really achieve a fair hearing. For instance, many medical decisions which could be called negligent, resulting in the deaths of patients, for example, either through lack of treatment or administering of the wrong medicine, are also covered up by self regulation.
Just look how self regulation of the UK medical profession has protected those who allowed the use of contaminated blood products which infected many haemophiliacs with Hepatitis C and even HIV infections, killing many and leaving thousands suffering from incurable diseases. I have reported on those matters here : Scottish blood infections inquiry will be 'another whitewash' as documents expected to be withheld to cover up public liability
Former Scottish Conservative leader David McLetchie lied over taxi expenses & journeys. Scottish Parliament has its own share of expenses scandals and self regulation has seen that no MSPs get prosecuted. Our dearly beloved Scottish Parliament at Holyrood, which some have been holding up as a model of expenses reform against the recent scandals at Westminster, has also had its fair share of expenses fiddling, with MSPs milking their expenses accounts to pay off mortgages, non existent travel, and even taxi fares.
No prosecutions or de-selections of MSPs have ever taken place at Holyrood despite all the expenses fiddling there, because of course, self regulation has allowed the Parliament to keep decisions on punishment and standards to itself. You can read some of my earlier articles on expenses scandals in Scottish politics, here: Scottish Parliament expenses scandals
Scottish Legal Complaints Commission was an attempt at independent regulation but was 'taken over’ by legal profession before it even existed. Despite attempts to create an independent regulator of the legal profession in Scotland by the previous Scottish Executive, the current Scottish Government stood by and allowed the legal profession to take over the 'independent' Scottish Legal Complaints Commission, ensuring once again, that 'virtual self regulation', as some at the Law Society of Scotland now call the SLCC remains the order of the day for complaints against solicitors in Scotland, and that even today, complaints by the public against crooked lawyers do not get a fair hearing, because too many lawyers and Law Society members were parachuted into the 'independent' SLCC via deals between the Law Society and the Scottish Government
Scottish accountants have used self regulation to hide corruption complaints against members. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) is one of a number of organisations which self regulate its members, however the style of self regulation at ICAS has led to the cover up of some of the worst conduct of accountants in the UK, where fraud, embezzlement of client funds, even criminal activity by members, and many other types of complaints have been swept under the carpet of self regulation by the body which prides itself in having extensive political connections throughout the UK, including even members of the Privy Council which ICAS have used to prevent changes to independent regulation of accountants from taking place.
An example of how accountants self regulation affected my own family (in complaints which are common to many ICAS investigate) :
Norman Howitt, Borders Accountant with JRW Group was protected by self regulation of accountants. Norman Howitt, a Borders Accountant ruined my family's life, and got away with it because of self regulation at ICAS which even covered up the fact he gave false statements to Lothian & Borders Police to cover up his embezzlement of money into his accounting firm's accounts, from the sale of my late father's assets.
You can read more about what Norman Howitt and several lawyers in the Scottish Borders did to my family in the name of greed and taking money for themselves, here : A picture is worth a thousand words - Images of fraud reveal corruption & deceit by lawyers & accountants in the Scottish Borders
Scotsman newspaper led a campaign in the 90’s to end self regulation of Scots lawyers. The Scotsman newspaper reported on many occasions, the corruption of self regulation at the Law Society of Scotland which protected complaints against crooked Borders lawyer Andrew Penman of Stormonth Darling Solicitors, Kelso. No effort was spared by the Law Society of Scotland’s most senior officials to corrupt the investigation and derail any prosecution against Penman who also deceived the Royal Bank of Scotland and the Inland Revenue.
Philip Yelland, Law Society’s self regulation chief ordered solicitors to ignore clients instructions in cases against crooked lawyers. You can read more about the way self regulation of the legal profession was used by the Law Society of Scotland to protect crooked lawyers in my own case, here : The Scotsman reports : Andrew Penman, self regulation and the Law Society of Scotland and you can read about some of the lengths individuals at the Law Society of Scotland were prepared to go to defeat complaints against the legal profession as a whole, here : Law Society intervention in claims 'commonplace' as ex Chief admits Master Policy protects solicitors against clients
What we as the public have had to endure for far too long in Scotland, England & Wales, is a Crooked Curtain of self regulation that has been held firmly in place by the professions, many UK industries, public services, politics and Government (local & national), simply to protect those same professions, industries, public services and politicians from public accountability and transparency, which can only be achieved through fully independent regulation.
As we can see from the above examples, it is time to end self regulation for anyone & all public services, industry and professions in the UK, now.