STARWARS CHAMBER: Will Vince Vader join the *Star Chamber*?

Five departments reach agreement on spending cuts

BBC: Five Whitehall departments have reached spending agreements with the Treasury, ahead of next month’s spending review.

The Treasury, Cabinet Office, Foreign Office plus the environment and communities departments have reached agreement on cutting their spending. As a result ministers Eric Pickles and Caroline Spelman have joined the “star chamber”, which rules on departments which cannot agree cuts.

I have to say… I am astonished by many things these days.. but calling a government committee the *Star Chamber* – is quite extraordinary….

I can’t be arsed to write a polemic about the original Star Chamber – here is the Wikipedia entry

This extract may give you an idea of where my mind is heading on this…..

Court sessions were held in secret, with no indictments, no right of appeal, no juries, and no witnesses. Evidence was presented in writing. Over time it evolved into a political weapon and became a symbol of the misuse and abuse of power by the English monarchy and courts.

Oh… and PLEASE read @Konnolsky on Cable…. a parodist with style – on Page 2 of the comments – Wonderful!

Follow @Konnolsky on twitter? Mad! – in a very good way

5 thoughts on “STARWARS CHAMBER: Will Vince Vader join the *Star Chamber*?

  1. The “Star Chamber” term has been one in common currency in business for decades, for pretty well (in corporate) terms what this government committee is trying to do. Of course management consultants and the like are not known for their sensitivity to history whilst, in the past, senior civil servants and the more “gentlemanly” type of old school politicians would have understood.

    With the “professionalisation” of politics, the importation of management consultancy techniques and language into the whole process, some of that exquisite sensitivity to history has gone. Altogether a time of cruder sensitivities. It’s hardly unique of course. George Bush blundered in with his talk of “crusades” in the middle east. The last Labour government was replete with “Czars” to rule on all sorts of social ills, without much thought as to the democratic track record of holders of this title. It’s true of management that they tend to favour the language of the authoritarian, closely followed by the belief that reality can somehow be overcome by a sheer effort of willpower rather than mental effort (also the George Bush philosophy – and I know how inappropriate it is associating wisdom with that man).

    Indeed the same historical references (witness Crusade) has different impacts on different cultures. There those French visitors deposited at Waterloo when arriving by Eurostar. Then there is the story that Bertie Ahern arrived at the foreign office in 1997 to meet Robin Cook, only to find a freshly installed portrait of Oliver Cromwell upon which discovery the Irishman turned on his heels and promptly left.

    On the subject of cuts, it is well known, but not really believed, that Maggie never succeeded at all. In fact it wasn’t until the exterior underpant wearing John Major that any real inroads were made. Then 1997 and “Cool Brittania” happened, and what happened next can be found in the history according to Tony Blair, although in truth, it is Gordon Brown who was the domestic architect.

  2. I forgot . William Hague was a management consultant for a company that did (ironically) extremely well on government contracts. I’m sure he still has the corporate handbook.

  3. Yes, Thatcher had a “Star Chamber” chaired by William Whitelaw – (“everyone needs a Willie”).

    The original Star Chamber appeared to originate in the idea that some people in the land were “untouchable” by the ordinary law and needed to be brought to heel. Of course, it was easy to turn a body like that into an engine of tyranny.

    “Court sessions were held in secret …. etc.” Anyone see any parallels with SIAC and the increasing secrecy in English legal proceedings generally?

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