Britain is – still – less violent and lawless than it was 15 years ago

Andrew Blick

The civil disturbances which recently took place across England are important from the point of view of the Audit, partly because it is vital to a democracy that the rule of law is upheld, that people are protected from crime (in a reasonable, proportionate and accountable way); and – as far as possible – that they feel safe.

Some recently-published official analysis of the British Crime Survey (BCS), covering the period 2010-11 in England and Wales, is significant to this issue. Continue reading

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Fixing the Revolving Door

Guest author: Liz David-BarrettOxford University Centre for Corporate Reputation

There are many good reasons for government and business to talk to one another, to understand how the other side works, and to learn techniques that can be transferred from one context to the other.  But wherever such interactions occur, there is a potential conflict of interest.  The risk is most acute where particular individuals have a foot in each camp.  That is why a ‘revolving door’ between government and business, with individuals hopping between jobs in the public and private sector, is a key concern. Continue reading

News International and corporate power in Britain’s democracy: just the tip of the ‘unelected oligarchies’ iceberg

David Beetham

The News International scandal has rightly caused public outrage and led to a sea-change in relations between UK politicians and media moguls. Yet Murdoch’s empire has been only part of a much wider structure of unaccountable power which has exercised a dominant influence over British politics and policy making in the past two decades or more. This ‘unelected oligarchy’ extends to the corporate sector as a whole, including the major financial and banking institutions. Continue reading