ON page seven of today’s Worcester News, we report how a city taxi driver has been released from prison just over one year into a four-year sentence on drugs conspiracy charges.

This comes after it was reported nationally that the London Bridge murderer who was shot dead by police last Friday had similarly benefitted from an early release after being imprisoned for a plot to blow up the London Stock Exchange.

This is the sort of thing that leads many ordinary members of the public to scratch their heads and wonder if they are being lied to.

After all, when they read of a judge sending a miscreant down for, say ten years, it’s not unreasonable to assume that ten years in the slam is what he, or she, will have to serve.

But in many countries, including the UK, a lot of prisoners are habitually let out before they have completed their officially-announced sentence.

This is not, by the way, a call for tougher sentencing. The issue of what length of sentencing is appropriate for a given offence is a completely different question.

What it is, is a call for transparency and honesty on the part of officialdom towards the general public.

As we pay, through our taxes, for the whole criminal justice system, we are entitled to a truthful account of what is being done with our money and in our names.

The same thing goes for almost all the other functions of government, except, perhaps in some circumstances, where grave issues of national security are involved.

This is not a criticism of any one political party, or even political tendency.

Political of every stripe, and all too many civil servants, frequently act as their judgement is superior, as if they have the right to tell other people how to live their lives, and the right not to tell us what they think we don’t need to know.

But they should remember that they are the servants and we are the masters. Or at least that is how it should be.

We have the chance to go to the polls next week, to select our next government.

But the power to vote is all but useless in the face of a “ruling class” that thinks it should literally rule and we should obey.

It’s time for a major rethink of the relationshop between the state and the people.