Well sort off. At a press conference in London yesterday pat Cox told Jack Straw to get on his bike. I am sure that noble Lord did not mind the emollient Irish President of the European Parliament using his words to sell the European Constitution. Though thinking about it one of the great worries about enlargement is that many people in the enlargement countries will do exactly what Norman advised about finding work. Europe and the UK should welcoome them with open arms.
Interestingly Jack Straw used the opportunity to roll out HMG's current rebuttle over processes and substance. It seems that the government in the UK has come over all utilitarian. The process dsoesn't matter all that matters is the result. Well given the result he is after is of, ahem, questionable value that is a moot point. But to pretend that nobody is interested in the processes by which the government goes about its business, to argue that how decisions are made is of no importance is complete rubbish.
"move from frankly useless arguments about process to really important arguments about substance"
The ends do not justify the means. The circumstances surrounding the death of Dr Kelly was a 'means'. The strange dispensation for Lakshmi Mittal, was a 'means'. The way in which a constitutional referendum is brought about is a 'means'. The entire business of Whitehall are 'means'. If the Straw man is argueing, with his boss that the only thing that is of interest is what the government claims to have achieved he is not doing a very good job convincing anybody about it.
The ends justify the means is a slogan for the belief that morally wrong actions are sometimes necessary to achieve morally right outcomes. Though such a view is implicit in many moral philosophies (especially utilitarianism) and almost all persons would be willing to commit small moral transgressions in the service of a greater good, the phrase is most often used to denote the much stronger view that any action in the service of an important enough cause is justified. This view is found in many radical political ideologies, and the atrocities committed by Jacobins, communists, capitalists, fascists, and others are often attributed to a form of moral blindness in which a powerful ultimate goal becomes an excuse to ignore ordinary moral considerations.