Integrity issues have become an important item on the British political agenda since the 1990s when ‘sleaze’ prompted John Major to set up the Committee on Standards in Public Life. The book analyses the range of ethical problems which confront the political system and the efforts to address them. It addresses the tightening of standards in response to misconduct in Parliament, in central and local government and in the devolved systems. It also addresses perennial ethical questions such as lobbying and party funding which continue to trouble the United Kingdom as they do other major democracies. The chief purpose of the book is to understand the regulatory dilemmas which face policy-makers as they struggle to produce new machinery and codes to tackle the risk of misconduct. Thus we examine, for example, the choice between self-regulation and independent regulation, decisions about the amount of transparency required of office-holders, and how to achieve proportionality in the balance between perceived problems and regulatory burdens. We also attempt to assess the impact of more than two decades of ethical engineering on the office holders and the public.
The chapter examines the revolving door issue and efforts to regulate the traffic from the public sector (ministers and officials) to private sector jobs in retirement. It analyses the work of the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (ACOBA)and its attempts to manage the serious long-term ethical risks of these transfers.
dangers of running
even appearance-standard ethicalrisks. In any case the clock cannot be
turned back. On the contrary, the more tightly the underlying demands
of accountability and transparency bear down on office-holders, the
greater the demands seem to grow for absolute integrity.
However, transparency not only makes the public aware of egregious
failings like those involved in the expenses scandal, where few dispute
what is right and wrong, but seems also to breed public intolerance
in areas where right and wrong are more evenly balanced, such as the
Uncanny assemblage and embodied scripts in tissue recipient horror
. See E. Cook, ‘“Off dropped the sympathetic snout”‘, in H. Kerr, D. Lemmings, and R. Phiddian (eds), Passions, Sympathy, and Print Culture (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2016), pp. 145–64 .
4 D. Punter, Gothic Pathologies (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 1998) , p. 16.
5 R. Shaw, ‘The ethicalrisks of curtailing emotion in social science research’, Health Sociology Review , 20:1 (2011), 58–69 (pp. 61–2); M. Shildrick, A. Carnie, A. Wright, P. McKeever, E. Huan-Ching Jan, E. De Luca, I. Bachmann, S. Abbey, D. Dal Bo, J. Poole, T. El-Sheikh, and H. Ross, ‘Messy
; Hooper, 2019 ). Patients sometimes express frustration that they have told their story repeatedly but nothing has changed as a result (whether in the context of research or in service improvement). It can be argued that hearing a patient story confers a moral obligation to act in light of it.
These ethicalrisks informed our methodological approach, including our consent process. To minimise selection bias and maximise diversity, we reached out in a variety of different ways and sought individuals of varying ages, backgrounds and health issues. We
Distinguishing capacity-restoring and capacity-increasing technologies
Beard , Matthew , Jai Galliott , and Sandra Lynch . 2016 . ‘ Soldier Enhancement: EthicalRisks and Opportunities ’, Australian Army Journal , Vol. 13 , No. 1 , pp. 5–20 .
Beyond Therapy : Biotechnology and the Pursuit of Happiness . 2003 . A Report of the President's Council on
Bioethics . Washington, DC: Dana Press .
Brunet , Alain et al. 2011 . ‘ Trauma Reactivation under the Influence of Propranolol
complaints against local authorities. The Act
also established a National Code of Local Government Conduct, which,
with a modification in 1989, remained in force for almost a quarter of a
century, though as we shall see in Chapter 12, with rather little impact.22
The Thatcher years: changed incentives and new areas of
Several factors combined to increase the salience of a range of
standards-related issues during the Thatcher era. Radical changes to the
role of the state began to erode traditional understandings about the
conduct of government. The celebration
The role of the Committee on Standards in Public Life
the premise that the precise
recommendations that flowed from general principles should be contained in codes of conduct for different sectors of public life. Each sector
or institution should adapt their own versions of these high level codes as
appropriate. Thus, while the CSPL set out the general governance quality
objectives for different areas, it was not prescriptive in detail. It took expert
advice about ethicalrisks facing different sectors and its reports discussed
the most appropriate mechanisms for implementing principles in each sector. The Committee
damaging to participants if their identity was obvious or revealed, and this could even result in legal harm for you or for those with whom you are working. Thus it is important not to be dismissive of the potential ramifications of activities and to think realistically about any potential harm that might arise.
Sometimes we might be involved in an activity where there are potential ethicalrisks; for instance, you may be a researcher with an interest in teen eating disorders who plans to use social media to engage around a particular activity. It’s likely that
ethicalrisks, and trade unions to organise to expose such practices.11 The
decentralisation of industrial relations to the level of firms has paradoxically
blurred the boundaries between industrial relations and wider social debates
about work and labour, and raised some opportunities for organised labour to
engage with these wider debates (Hyman, 1999b).
In this chapter I have argued that the British programme of restructuring has
drawn upon distinctive representations of the roles of state, industry, employer, manager, worker and labour organisation, in