Monday 5 December 2016

Forget grandstanding, what about humanity?

Angela Kerins's experience at the PAC reminds us that where legal privilege is concerned, we must be vigilant, says Carol Hunt

Published 17/07/2016 | 02:30

SUICIDE BID: Former Rehab CEO Angela Kerins tried to take her own life after PAC grilling. Photo: Collins Courts
SUICIDE BID: Former Rehab CEO Angela Kerins tried to take her own life after PAC grilling. Photo: Collins Courts

'Grandstanding is one of our weapons," said Labour MP Margaret Hodge, when she chaired the Westminster public accounts committee.

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She was responding to criticisms alleging that being publicly examined by MPs was "not exactly a fair process" [from a former top civil servant] and that MPs were inclined to "showboating" when questioning those who were unlucky enough to appear before them. Saying that politicians use public occasions for "grandstanding" is a bit like saying that great white sharks have sharp teeth.

It's hardly cynical to suggest that when politicians address certain issues, they do so with one eye on the topic in hand and the other firmly fixed on public reaction.

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