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Jan 6

Political and public service Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct

Here I present an example of a Code of Ethic and Professional Conduct that any politician or public worker should observe and apply in their professional development. Due to their special position it is not enough for them to observe the law. A special office in the Supreme Court of each country should supervise its fulfilment and expel from their function the individuals who violate it, either they are democratically elected or not.

CHAPTER 1. VISION AND APPLICABILITY

1.1 Vision and Purpose

As politicians and public workers, we are committed to doing what is right and honourable. We set high standards for ourselves and we aspire to meet these standards at work in service to our profession. 

This Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct describes the expectations that we have of ourselves and our colleagues in the political and public service communities. It articulates the ideals to which we aspire as well as the behaviours that are mandatory in our professional role. 

The purpose of this Code is to instil confidence in the political and public service professions and to help an individual become a better practitioner. We do this by establishing a profession-wide understanding of appropriate behaviour. We believe that the credibility and reputation of the political and public service professions are shaped by the collective conduct of individual practitioners. 

We believe that we can advance our profession, both individually and collectively, by embracing this Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. We also believe that this Code will assist us in making wise decisions, particularly when faced with difficult situations where we may be asked to compromise our integrity or our values. We agree to  assume the consequences (legal or professional) derived from the no observation of this Code. 

1.2 Persons to Whom the Code Applies

The Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct applies to: 

1.2.1 All politicians democratically elected.

1.2.2 All not elected political or non political members and public workers: 

  • Directly appointed persons by the politicians democratically elected;
  • All civil servants; and 
  • Any other individual who gets a salary as worker for the State.

1.3 Values that Support this Code 

The values that the political and public service community define as most important are: responsibility, respect, fairness, and honesty. This Code affirms these four values as its foundation. 

CHAPTER 2. RESPONSIBILITY 

2.1 Description of Responsibility 

Responsibility is our duty to take ownership for the decisions we make or fail to make, the actions we take or fail to take, and the consequences that result

2.2 Responsibility standards:  

As politician and/or public worker: 

2.2.1 We make decisions and take actions based on the best interests of society, public safety, and the environment. 

2.2.2 We accept only those assignments that are consistent with our background, experience, skills, and qualifications. 

2.2.3 We fulfil the commitments that we undertake – we do what we say we will do

2.2.4 When we make errors or omissions, we take ownership and make corrections promptly. When we discover errors or omissions caused by others, we communicate them to the appropriate body as soon they are discovered. We accept accountability for any issues resulting from our errors or omissions and any resulting consequences

2.2.5 We protect proprietary or confidential information that has been entrusted to us. 

2.2.6 We uphold this Code and hold each other accountable to it.

Regulations and Legal Requirements:

2.2.7 We inform ourselves and uphold the policies, rules, regulations and laws that govern our work, and professional activities. 

2.2.8 We report unethical or illegal conduct to appropriate management and, if necessary, to those affected by the conduct.

Ethics Complaints: 

2.2.9 We bring violations of this Code to the attention of the appropriate body for resolution. 

2.2.10 We only file ethics complaints when they are substantiated by facts. 

2.2.11 We pursue disciplinary action against an individual who retaliates against a person raising ethics concerns.

CHAPTER 3. RESPECT 

3.1 Description of Respect 

Respect is our duty to show a high regard for ourselves, others, and the resources entrusted to us. Resources entrusted to us may include people, money, reputation, the safety of others, and natural or environmental resources

An environment of respect engenders trust, confidence, and performance excellence by fostering mutual cooperation — an environment where diverse perspectives and views are encouraged and valued. 

3.2 Respect standards 

As politician and/or public worker: 

3.2.1 We inform ourselves about the norms and customs of others and avoid engaging in behaviours they might consider disrespectful. 

3.2.2 We listen to others’ points of view, seeking to understand them. 

3.2.3 We approach directly those persons with whom we have a conflict or disagreement. 

3.2.4 We conduct ourselves in a professional manner, even when it is not reciprocated. 

3.2.5 We negotiate in good faith

3.2.6 We do not exercise the power of our expertise or position to influence the decisions or actions of others in order to benefit personally at their expense. 

3.2.7 We do not act in an abusive manner toward others. 

3.2.8 We respect the property rights of others

CHAPTER 4. FAIRNESS 

4.1 Description of Fairness 

Fairness is our duty to make decisions and act impartially and objectively. Our conduct must be free from competing self interest, prejudice, and favouritism

4.2 Fairness standards 

As politician and/or public worker: 

4.2.1 We demonstrate transparency in our decision-making process. 

4.2.2 We constantly re-examine our impartiality and objectivity, taking corrective action as appropriate. 

4.2.3 We provide equal access to information to those who are authorized to have that information. 

4.2.4 We make opportunities equally available to qualified candidates. 

Conflict of Interest Situations: 

4.2.5 We pro-actively and fully disclose any real or potential conflicts of interest to the appropriate stakeholders. 

4.2.6 When we realize that we have a real or potential conflict of interest, we refrain from engaging in the decision-making process or otherwise attempting to influence outcomes, unless or until: we have made full disclosure to the affected stakeholders; we have an approved mitigation plan; and we have obtained the consent of the stakeholders to proceed.

Favouritism and Discrimination: 

4.2.7 We do not hire or fire, reward or punish, or award or deny contracts based on personal considerations, including but not limited to, favouritism, nepotism, or bribery

4.2.8 We do not discriminate against others based on, but not limited to, gender, race, age, religion, disability, nationality, or sexual orientation. 

4.2.9 We apply the rules of the organization (employer or other group) without favouritism or prejudice.

CHAPTER 5. HONESTY 

5.1 Description of Honesty 

Honesty is our duty to understand the truth and act in a truthful manner both in our communications and in our conduct. 

5.2 Honesty standards 

As politician and/or public worker: 

5.2.1 We earnestly seek to understand the truth. 

5.2.2 We are truthful in our communications and in our conduct. 

5.2.3 We provide accurate information in a timely manner

5.2.4 We make commitments and promises, implied or explicit, in good faith

5.2.5 We strive to create an environment in which others feel safe to tell the truth. 

5.2.6 We do not engage in or condone behaviour that is designed to deceive others, including but not limited to, making misleading or false statements, stating half-truths, providing information out of context or withholding information that, if known, would render our statements as misleading or incomplete. 

5.2.7 We do not engage in dishonest behaviour with the intention of personal gain or at the expense of another.  

This Code is an extract and modification of this one.

Quien roba a un ladrón…
Translation from this original in German. Via @vernunftpartei.

Quien roba a un ladrón…

Translation from this original in German. Via @vernunftpartei.

Spain, the “perfect storm”: why we are how we are (I)

This morning in a series of tweets I explained that Spain was in the middle of a “perfect storm, a combination of elements in their worst form that generated the worst possible scenario for a country deeply immerse in a serious economic crisis.

The worst possible regulation together with the worst possible politician class together with the worst population mentality and behavior caused the worst imaginable housing bubble together with the worst labor market together with the worst corruption and waste of money. That is, the perfect storm: Spain”, I tweeted.

I also proposed an ‘impossible’ way to get out from that horrible scenario:

How can we get out of this? Well, only with three ‘impossibles’: changing entirely the political class, changing people’s mentality and assuming our mistakes and that we are the only ones able to solve them, not waiting for others to help us, making the needed sacrifices. As I said, three ‘impossibles'”.

So that is the situation. It sounds poetic, novelistic. However it isn’t. In a series of articles I would like to put specific information, numbers and data which will bring poetry to the harsh reality, and show you how we reached the “perfect storm” scenario.

This first part consists just of numbers, a comparison of numbers of Spain with other countries. Only raw numbers, without opinions or comments. There you will understand one of the elements described above. Here they are:

  • Airports: Spain: 52 airports (only 8 profitable) – Germany: 39 airports.
  • Politicians and public officers: Spain: 445.568 – Italy: ~220.000 – Germany: ~ 150.000.
  • High speed train railways (2010): Spain: 3.744km – France: 2100km - Germany: 1.400km.
  • Motorways (2007): Spain: 14.689 km – Germany: 12.500km.
  • Towns/city halls: Spain: 8.116 – US: 3.141.
  • Senators: Spain: 260 – Germany: 100 69 – US: 50 100.
  • Official cars: Spain: 40.000 – US: 1000.

And know let’s put it in context, with the population of each country: Spain (48M), Germany (82M), Italy (60M), US (313M).

As I said, it is not needed to comment anything. Numbers speak by themselves.  

Updated: I corrected senators numbers in Germany and US. Thanks @noatodo.

May 8

Europe is not facing collapse – It’s already collapsed

Simply brilliant. #Occupy movement should read it. Y el #15M también.

Via @S8mB

Here's why the EU needs to be dismantled

Mar 5
"As MP I was earning basically the same. However I was feeling embarrassed for getting money for doing nothing".  #let

"As MP I was earning basically the same. However I was feeling embarrassed for getting money for doing nothing".  #let

#SOPA’s father violates the law he is proposing. F*cking hypocrites. 

Source here. Via @PeterUlsteen.   

#SOPA’s father violates the law he is proposing. F*cking hypocrites. 

Source here. Via @PeterUlsteen.   

How did you say are the strikes, Mr. Milliband? And the Government?

In Spain we are really screwed with the crap opposition party leader, but in UK they are not much better, haha.  

Via @S8mB and @holysmoke. 

For those of you that think that we are living a “big crisis”… no, you still do not know what is a big crisis… Just to give you an idea: in 2006 I received a Power Point presentation advicing about the housing crash in Spain. I believed it but everybody thought that it was just “alarmism”. However, every single statment of such Power Point happened, later than expected (it was envisaged for early 2007 and it was delayed one year more). 

Now I bring you this one. As a difference with the previous one, here they are not telling you what is going to happen, but they give to you enough information to imagine it.

And in order to avoid further useless discussions, this, what you are going to see in the video, IS NOT LIBERALISM.

No, sorry, under the classic liberalism ideas, the governments would have never created a bubble because under those ideas the money without real physical endorsement would not exists.

Under the classic liberalism ideas the government would have never used the public money (that would be really reduced because the money would be in the pockets of the citizens) to boost any sector (housing, cars, financial, etc.) and to waste it as it is shown in the video.

And under finally the governments would have never taken the countries to a debt level going over the overall richness of such countries, because that is literally unthinkable under the classic liberalism ideas. 

So do not blame liberalism (under its classical meaning), blame the State-capitalism, that is what brought all of us to the current situation. And read: only the real classic liberals/libertarians are able to take the current World out of the current crisis without collapsing into the Apocalypse. You know, maybe the Mayas were not so wrong when they predicted the end of the World in 2012. Maybe the end of the World is not due to natural catastrophes, but to human ones.


Para los locales, os recomiendo encarecidamente que veais el vídeo (está subtitulado). Todo, todo, todo lo que se ve en él ha pasado en España (y Europa): tipos de interes al suelo por los bancos centrales, burbuja inmobiliaria inflada con dinero fácil no respaldado por nada, ayudas a vivienda (nuestro Freddie y Fannie son las VPP y VPO), ayudas a la industria automovilística, rescates de bancos, rescates de países, deuda pública por valor cercano o superando a la riqueza total del país… todo ha pasado aquí y además aquí la situación es mucho peor ya que tenemos todas las burbujas explotando al mismo tiempo (hipotecaria, financiera, tipos de interes, deuda y rescates financieros) con una administración mastodóntica insostenible y un Estado del Bienestar infinanciable.

Y como he dicho arriba en inglés, esto que hay en el video NO ES LIBERALISMO, por mucho que insistais. Es capitalismo de Estado. Han sido los políticos y los Estados los que han creado toda esta situación. Ante las teorías liberales clasicas esto jamás se habría podido producir. Y con las teorías liberales clásicas es la única forma de salir. Pero sé que no vais a querer. Así que… ¿seguís dudando que el fin del mundo sea en 2012?

Buenas noches.

Public vs. Private ideas

Good ideas never come from public initiative but from private one. This is a lesson that politicians seems not to have understood. However the worst is not the expending of taxpayers money in their own electoral promotion. The worst is that while they inject public money in something that will never work (this is a rule of physics), they condemn the private initiative to die of starvation.  

I still remember the post that I wrote years ago in another blog related to the intention of formers governors of France and Germany, Jacques Chirac and Gerhard Schöder of creating, with public money, an “alternative” to the privately created and successful Google: Quaero. Thousands of taxpayers Euros spent in… nothing. Proud of politicians is usually very expensive for the rest of the mortars. And there are still people who applaud them.

Let politicians and “the public thing” be out of your business and you will be more successful in life. Another rule of physics (not yet very well known).