- The government is responsible for everything that anyone does
- Parliament's primary function is to scrutinise government, and
- Named ministers must be accountable for anything that happens in their area of responsibility.
So, in the case of dogs biting postmen, the Central Statist believes that this is a failure of good government, a possible cause for ministerial resignation, and reveals insufficient regulation and enforcement from the centre.
On the other hand, many of us believe the government ought solely to concern itself with matters of governance that can only be handled on a national scale; defence, treaties and international trade agreements, air traffic control, a system of civil law and the like. Dogs biting postmen is so faint a blip on the national radar that government shouldn't even have cognisance of it. The manager of the local delivery office and the local bench of magistrates are more than adequately capable of dealing with such eventualities. Not a single second of parliamentary or civil service time should be wasted on oral or written questions on the incidence of postman-biting by domestic dogs, the number of days sickness absence by postmen in each of the last three years as a result of dog bites or the number of dogs put down after biting postmen for the same period. Yet such nonsense is the bread and meat of the Central State - and it's the erosion of this pettiest of micro-managing that the Political Class fears.
So Gus O'Donnell, High Priest of the church of the Central State, has been panicked into holding an enquiry into the impact of the Localism Bill on parliament's ability to concern itself with trivial issues, badged pompously and hubristically as "an erosion of parliamentary democracy", spurred on by Margaret Hoxha, Labour's doyenne of petty State regulation.
If Cameron can't scotch even this minor impediment to true democracy, throw away your hopes for any meaningful reform. It's looking like only a sharpened hatchet will free the grip of the fingers of the Central State from our lives.