Yesterday when I went into work I took the lift to the floor where I work. As the lift ascended I momentarily thought it sounded a bit odd, but then it arrived at my floor and I stepped out of the lift and thought nothing more of it. About two hours later, someone I work with got stuck in the lift. As it turned out, others had thought the lift sounded a bit odd as well and had thought nothing more of it. I guess at least we were all equally deficient. I actually still have no idea quite what it was that I thought was odd. But perhaps I should pay more attention to my instincts in future.
I found the latest government announcement of asking the public to decide where the cuts should fall to be somewhat concerning. I thought we had elected a government (or not quite elected a government…) to make the decisions, but, in another example of sloping shoulders, the decision making is up to us, the public. So that in years to come the finger can be pointed at us as being responsible for the ensuing problems.
I was concerned to see mention of “star chambers” though. The reading of my history books has already paid dividends as I read about those recently. It is not encouraging though. Star Chambers lasted until the end of Charles I reign i.e. when he was beheaded. Various monarchs used them, and Charles I did it in the most extreme form. Star Chambers were undemocratic ways of hand picked individuals to make secret decisions where those issues could not perhaps withstand public scrutiny. In other words, they were highly dubious decisions which did not stand up to the rule of law. Charles I used this system the most. He refused to let Parliament sit during his reign and used a star chamber to make the decisions instead. I can’t imagine why he ended up having his head cut off. Still, if that is what brought the star chamber system to an end, maybe there is hope – perhaps the beast that is out current government will face the same fate.