Clean Up Westminster petition

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Noble though this cleanupwestminster petition is, it’s a shame they didn’t pay more attention to the grammar:

We, the undersigned, believe that there should be no further appointments to the House of Lords until the current investigations have run their course; and the possibility of corruption has been removed from Westminster; and Parliament behaves with absolute propriety and is seen to behave with absolute propriety.

Is it me or does that say that “we the undersigned” believe that the possibility of corruption has been removed from Westminster and that Parliament not only behaves with absolute propriety but is seen to behave with absolute propriety?

And yes, it’s clear what they really mean, but even then, isn’t it a little utopian? The possibility of corruption must be ended? How are you going to do that?

4 thoughts on “Clean Up Westminster petition

  1. I think that the “possibility of corruption” can only be ended by the corruption of possibility, thus proving that corruption is a viscious circle which no one wants to break out of…

  2. It seems to me it’s the punctuation that’s wrong, not the grammar. Take out those two semicolons and it says what it was supposed to mean, more or less. I imagine the phrase “the possibility of corruption has been removed” was intended to apply only within this particular context. In other words “the possibility has been removed that seats in Parliament might be bought and sold”. Heriditary peerages were an anachronism, but at least under that system you couldn’t buy your way in. Even the most deranged greed-is-good neoliberal fundamentalist would have to admit that there will never be a free market in ancestors.

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