Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Safeguarding future generations: a tentative suggestion

George Monbiot, writing in the _Guardian_ yesterday, proposes the idea of a '100-year Parliamentary committee' to speak up for the interests of future generations. This idea to end the short-termism of too much politics is helpful, but not [I fear] robust enough to actually safeguard the interests of generations as yet unborn. Here is a tentative suggestion of a more robust alternative: That every major decision made at any level of government should be subject to potential veto by an individual or small group charged exclusively with having regard to the interests of the future inhabitants of this, our one and only planetary home. The name I think it natural to invest these proposed guarantors of the future with would perhaps be congenial to the newspaper that Monbiot writes in: I think that they should be called guardians...
I would welcome comment on this idea. Is it a good one? Or is it too 'out there'?
Let's see what Rupert's readers think...
 

5 Comments:

Blogger Joe Otten said...

So who gets to decide who the guardians are?

This reminds me of the old house of Lords. There's a culture among some of the still-landed gentry, that they want a great great grandson to inherit their estate one day.

Is this the kind of outlook you are looking for? :)

22 October 2008 at 14:23  
Blogger Matt Sellwood said...

Bad idea I'm afraid, Rupert! Very Plato's Republic, and a bad idea for all the same reasons..

25 October 2008 at 13:11  
Blogger Rupert said...

OK, guys: if you have a better idea I'm all ears.
The point is: something more than mere short-termist representation seems to be needed. So what is the answer?

28 October 2008 at 08:34  
Blogger Joe Otten said...

I think the point is this. Leaders and legislators are a product of the process by which they achieve that office, and not to any noticeable extent a product of the ideology or values in which name they are supposed to act.

Elections will give you one sort of person, quangocracy another, dictatorship another, etc. Whether a dictator is supposed to be, ideologically, a champion of the common man or not rarely seems to make any difference to what they actually do. Ditto, I suspect, quangos and the environment.

28 October 2008 at 14:38  
Blogger Joe Otten said...

Urk, I didn't quite mean to put it that strongly. Elected politicians do represent their manifesto ideology, more or less. My point was really about what you get when you have unelected decision makers.

28 October 2008 at 14:43  

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29.
George Monbiot, writing in the _Guardian_ yesterday, proposes the idea of a '100-year Parliamentary committee' to speak up for the interests of future generations. This idea to end the short-termism of too much politics is helpful, but not [I fear] robust enough to actually safeguard the interests of generations as yet unborn. Here is a tentative suggestion of a more robust alternative: That every major decision made at any level of government should be subject to potential veto by an individual or small group charged exclusively with having regard to the interests of the future inhabitants of this, our one and only planetary home. The name I think it natural to invest these proposed guarantors of the future with would perhaps be congenial to the newspaper that Monbiot writes in: I think that they should be called guardians...
I would welcome comment on this idea. Is it a good one? Or is it too 'out there'?
Let's see what Rupert's readers think...
 
30. 31. 32.