The seven Nolan principles of public life are no substitute for a decent constitution

When in 1994, John Major set up the ‘Committee on Standards in Public Life’, Lord Nolan, former appeal Justice, came up with these seven principles of public life:

Selflessness

Objectivity

Integrity

Honesty

Accountability

Openness

Leadership

Moreover, the committee is supposed to advise “the Prime Minister on ethical standards across the whole of public life in England.”

Either they are so overworked they cannot cope or that advice must be falling on particularly stony ground because now having been in office just a year, Johnson has gone for a full hand and managed to ignore all seven.

That’s one achievement I suppose.

But it is one that is distinctly worrying because our oh so rickety constitution, dependent as it is on some limited integrity at the top, finds itself in a weak and vulnerable position when charlatans and shameless liars are in charge.

It is decidedly not a good combination for governmental health.

In the absence of getting rid of this government, of which there currently seems little immediate prospect, I can only suggest some might feel better supporting the ‘Good Law Project’, which gives some limited hope….