The Mid Beds MP writes for the Times & Citizen every month
I believe that my role in Parliament is, to paraphrase Ronald Reagan, to get government “off our backs”. A large state intrudes in people’s lives and a direct consequence of that is a reduction in personal freedom.
Big government becomes unwieldy and impossible to manage, leading to contradictory policy and mistakes. Government gets things wrong and the more government there is the more mistakes it will make.
The same principle holds true of other large organisations. The BBC has a hard-earned place as possibly the nation’s most cherished institution, on a par with the NHS. Both of these have taken a battering recently in light of the ongoing revelations about Jimmy Savile and how he was allowed to get away with such horrific crimes at the centre of these two treasured pillars of the nation.
The dark recesses of the BBC have hidden the truth about Savile for too long.
This is bad enough. But the instinct of self-preservation and promotion which haunts many organisations ensured that this was ignored and then, much worse, covered up.
This pattern is familiar to other large institutions that used to be held in similar reverence, organised religion. I use that term quite specifically as, despite focus on problems in the Catholic Church, the same problems have been noted in other faiths and churches.
It would appear a series of sexual abuse scandals have lain dormant in this country from an age when powerful perpetrators were protected and victims ignored. We have almost certainly not yet heard the last of the allegations. I would encourage anyone who has been abused in the past, wherever it was and whoever was the abuser, to now come forward and ensure that justice can finally be done.
The problem facing the country now is to find the right balance in our institutions so that they focus once again on serving the people rather than themselves.