Over the era that future generations may call ‘Blairite’, several things have happened. I became old enough to vote, for a start, and I became much more interested in politics. Perhaps as a result of both these happenings, I also became much more cynical.
This cynicism – healthy cynicism, to my mind – manifests itself largely as a declining trust in nigh on all the organs of state. From politicians at the top to the local peeler, I’m not as trusting as I once was. There are but two institutions that have gone up in my estimation: the House of Lords and the judiciary. And also the place where the two overlap.
I’m pretty sure that there is a simple reason for this: both the House of Lords and the judges of the land somehow seem to be on ‘our’ side, more than MPs and councillors; more than cops and doctors; more than journalists and big business. They obey the law, but they seem to work within those laws to oppose stupid, immoral and anti-liberty legislation. Like, fer’instance, internment.
They’re paying a price for this, too. The House of Lords is being dismantled, and the judges are being given less leeway with every new Act. But they’re still (seemingly) fighting on, trying to minimise the damage even while their ability to do so is taken away.
Seems like I’m not the only one who thinks along those lines. Out of every position of power, business leaders, union officials, politicians of all stripes at all levels, only judges have more public trust than they did four years ago.
Which is probably why MPs (down 15%) are busy tying the hands of the judiciary… Can’t have anyone being popular and right, now, can we?