Washminster

Washminster
Washminster

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Watergate - Let us never forget

From the time the story was developing (I was a schoolboy at the time), I have been fascinated by Watergate. I might even go as far to say that it developed my life long interest in both US Politics – and the issue of how to control the abuse of power. [I am a lecturer in Constitutional Law – and I always stress (some might say ‘bore for England’) the importance of the first part of Lord Acton’s dictum that “Power tends to corrupt, absolute power corrupts absolutely” – and the consequent need for scrutiny of the use of power].

Over the years I have collected a number of books and other resources about the break in and the subsequent events. If you look at my Facebook profile – (jdavidmorgan) you’ll see that I list “All the President’s Men” as one of my favourite films – I watch that as often as some people watch “The Sound of Music”. If you haven’t watched it – I thoroughly recommend that you do so. Guess what I’m planning to do on Sunday? I have the autobiographies of Richard Nixon, Chuck Colson, G Gordon Liddy, Mark Felt (‘Deep Throat’), H R Haldeman’s “The Ends of Power”; and a copy of the Ervin Committee Report (and of course Woodward and Bernstein’s two books – ‘All the President’s Men’ and ‘The Final Days’). I have the Frost interviews as well as the more recent book and film about them, and many books about Nixon.

It can be too easy in a mature democracy to forget how far people are prepared to go to acquire and hold on to power. Too often we can concentrate on describing political events and procedures; discuss policies and personalities – but we should never forget the importance of scrutinising and controlling the use of power.
















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