Thursday, May 02, 2013

UK entertainers found guilty of child abuse and Idea 112 is Federalism versus Centralism

The last few months have seen a number of aging celebrities being arrested for child abuse committed during the 60s, 70s and 80s, it is difficult not to have feelings of sympathy for those people in the public eye  who are now suffering the vilification as their past crimes are exposed.

Who's the joker?

Stuart Hall it was today revealed was a serial abuser, there are others who are under investigation (I will not add to the rumour mill here) and there is little doubt that many on the periphery do  now regret the blind eye they turned to what they knew to be wrong at the time.

Some of the abusers (like Hall) will no doubt express regret at past actions (on being caught they will express this regret), in truth it is important to reflect on the many figures who did not commit these crimes and recognise that although the past was a different land morality is still a measure of the behaviour of individuals and many in similar positions did not exploit the opportunities for abuse presented to them .

Many young people have had their lives blighted by the misdemeanours of 'adults' it was not the  fault of these minors, the deal is that adults are responsible for their actions and the way the law must operate is that crimes do not disappear merely with the passage of time.

While having sympathy with those in advancing years who  now have to justify their terrible actions it is important to reflect on who are the victims and the message we are sending to them.

Okay back to the big Ideas- 112 is Federalism versus Centralism.

The governments of modern states battle between devolving power and centralising control, I recall on a visit to China many years ago seeing a banner proclaiming 'Think Globally Act Locally' and so it is that a tension acts between the centralised control that is meant to exist in countries such as France (known as a unitary state)  and the Federal system of countries that operate like the USA.

Their are arguments that favour localism in terms of reflecting the desires of the populace and in truth it is unlikely that the tensions between a centre (like London) and the regions will ever be fully resolved.

In  reality it is not a straight choice and many countries are still battling to find a comfortable equilibrium,  in recent years the UK has moved to devolving away from the centre giving some authority to the Governments and assemblies of Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland.

The tensions within other countries, like for example the former Yugoslavia have led to fracture, war and the formation of independent nations but strangely these new nations are able to work together in such federal alliance as the EU.