Total recall

A few days after Gov. Gray Davis was re-elected in California he admitted that his budget figures were completely bogus. It is so ingrained in us that we do not expect transparency or honesty in government accounting that otherwise respectable publications such as The Economist and Financial Times argued that this admission did not rise to the level of a recall because it was not criminal. Of course, for the officers of a company to do the same thing WOULD have been criminal. The happy result was that Davis was recalled and replaced by a governor committed to balancing the budget without punitive new taxes.

None of this is going to happen in the UK. Gordon Brown's budget figures certainly are fraudulent, and will require massive tax rises in the next Parliament. But Brown - if Labour is re-elected and he is re-appointed to the Treasury - is not going to admit that he was wrong. And there is no recall provision per se. A party with a secure majority in Parliament is secure for a full term.

It is a shame. British politicians need to learn the Gray Davis lesson. We should not tolerate this level of dishonesty from our politicians.

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