Yesterday, I asked a junior minister if he supported confirmation hearings for quangocrats. He seemed to find the very idea offensive. Could it be that ministers are threatened by the prospect of parliamentary power?
No one elects these people, yet they control serious sums of taxpayers' money. If the government won't rein them in, Parliament should.
We need confirmation hearings to make quangocrats accountable. Parliamentary select committees should interview top quango appointees before they take up their post – and, if necessary, veto their appointments.
It's hardly a new idea. President-elect Trump's cabinet picks will all be subject to confirmation hearings in the Senate. In America, powerful officials can't just be appointed without scrutiny. Why should they be here?
British ministers only baulk at confirmation hearings because they don't want to lose their monopoly over patronage. Their own vested interest takes precedence over the public interest.
This year, we broke the stranglehold of the Brussels cartel. The Westminster cartel must be next.
"A revolutionary text ... right up there with the Communist manifesto" - Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times
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