openDemocracyUK

Broken Government goes public

A new website is launched to map part of Britain's collapsing state
Anthony Barnett
Anthony Barnett
13 February 2010

 

An important new website has been created by Andreas Whittam Smith, Broken Government.

It's description is "Not Broken Britain, Broken Government".

Its aim is to map, track and debate the hopeless condition of decision making in British government. I think this is a critical part of the larger breakdown of the British state. A breakdown which is not just limited to its democracy, its legitimacy, its incoherent constitution and its unpopularity. It also plain does not work.

The question 'why not?' leads back in part to the larger breakdown. There is a danger of people in the political class seeking a purely administrative solution to the present debacle. "Let's fix decision making first and only then turn our attention to the constitution". It's an argument I've heard from, I think it was Christopher Foster, Chair of the Better Government Initiative.

But the fact that these are parallel and linked disasters feeding each other is all the more reason to welcome a dedicated website that will expose in a systematic and accumulative way how deeply the basic machinery of government is broken - as part of the wider crisis of the UK state.

In his characteristically clear and open statement of purpose Andreas writes:

As politicians seek our support in the forthcoming General Election, we know something they won’t acknowledge and may not even understand. Government doesn’t work any longer. Join with me to write an authoritative account of why this has happened. Once a reliable diagnosis is established, it will be become clearer what needs to be done


Please do join him. Take a look, put in any examples you know about, or links to descriptions of them. The site is a social networking one from its origins, another attractive feature. It's here and we will continue to link to it and support from OK.

Sign the petition: save our Freedom of Information

The UK government is running a secretive unit inside Michael Gove’s Cabinet Office that’s accused of ‘blacklisting’ journalists and hiding ‘sensitive’ information from the public. Experts say they’re breaking the law – and it’s an assault on our right to know what our government is doing.

We’re not going to let it stand. We’re launching a legal battle – but we also need a huge public outcry, showing that thousands back our call for transparency. Will you add your name?

Who is bankrolling Britain's democracy? Which groups shape the stories we see in the press; which voices are silenced, and why? Sign up here to find out.

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