I’m not sure if irresponsibility has exactly the same connotation as not taking responsibility or indeed negligence. I propose to assume they do.
Banking. On Tuesday the sixth of February, Watchdog on BBC1, TV, presented a piece which irrefutably showed that some major Banks are considering that if money is withdrawn, using a valid pin number, but without the approval of or even knowledge of the account holder, the Bank will hold the account holder responsible for the loss, due to “negligence”, even if the account holder has not been in the same County at the time of the theft. They even go so far as to suggest that the account holder may have passed on the pin number to someone else, written it down, or made it available in some other way. There was the case quoted, of an elderly woman who never used her pin number. £20,000 was withdrawn from her account without her knowledge and the Bank refused to honour the loss, and suggested that she should take out an overdraft. I can only draw the inference that the Bank considers that she withheld using her pin number to build up a case for fraud, which in my view is tantamount to slander.
I have written to my Bank with a list of questions, at the head of which is whether it too has or is adopting this heinous policy. If it has, I can see considerable difficulties ahead, in conducting my financial affairs both conveniently and safely.
Irresponsibility In Areas Of Our Welfare. In a previous article I mentioned the case of the Chancellor who inadvertently gave information that he was about to publish in his budget. Without inducement he resigned. It seems today that those who control our destiny at every level, negate any responsibility for their actions and are not brought to book. This would appear to be the case from the highest level down to those managing the affairs of local councils. I don’t think there is a need for me to hack over what has been happening in the last few years with respect to major decisions, reversals, and incredible wastage of public money with no return. It is all well documented in the press.
I highlight what has happened in Northern Ireland where, we are told, our rates will be increased as a result of European fines, for not having carried out work as and when instructed, to minimise marine pollution by sewage. The ratepayer, once he has elected politicians and councillors, has very little ability to take steps to control their management. In this case Councils were fully aware that the system was overloaded, they could not have been otherwise, as regular testing of the seawater constantly proved it so. Vested interest in the form of spec building, has been allowed to progress at an alarming rate, in spite of everyone knowing that the sewerage system would not and could not cope. Planning was corrupted, which should have staved off the situation, and when it was evident that the EU would be clamping down, the rate of building increased. I find it incredible that those who were acting on our behalf, had the audacity to plough on in the face of evident disaster, fully knowing that any fines will be deducted from the overall Northern Ireland budget, and yet they continued to allow what amounts to a criminal act to be perpetrated. There has been no word of censure, reproof or indeed some form of legal action against them.
Today too many people in positions of responsibility, are taking unwarranted chances in their administration, for reasons which cannot be justified, and proposing actions based on untried theories and often against professional advice – all apparently with no chance of any serious comeback, such as impeachment, criminal charges, or even the sack. We are told that, due to the changes in the voting boundaries, a hung Parliament is likely at the next election. Let us hope so! We will have a period of considered government, which we can hope will slow the race to ‘lead the world’ ( Margtet Beckett’s words – among others), when we can’t govern ourselves adequately, to the levels and higher standards of the past,.