Jonathan Smith is supporting calls for action over the Greensill affair
I am not used to agreeing with Sir Bernard Jenkin M.P., a senior and powerful Conservative backbencher. Our core political values are miles apart.
However, on the issue of sleaze and corruption at the heart of government and at the top eschelons of the civil service, I applaud his robust and stinging rejection of what is clearly emerging as a collapse of principled and trustworthy governance.
The old-fashioned notion of “public service” appears to have been trashed.
Throughout my long career in local government, two rules protected the integrity of how we acted: (1) everyone was contractually bound not to do anything - either in our work or in our personal lives - which might lead the public to question our motives; and (2) anyone above a relatively low managerial level could not hold any other paid job.
I have never agreed that MPs should hold other jobs: as paid public servants, their duty is to focus 100% on serving their constituents. Civil servants are just that: servants. They, too, owe their positions to the tax-paying public.
The boundaries between public service and private gain must be strong and transparent. This Government should heed the demands of their own MPs and the voters, and clean up their act, urgently.
Jonathan Smith, Tatton Liberal Democrats