Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Is Honesty and Trust Still Alive?

The news and newspapers have be filled with the story about the Labour Party Ministerial adviser who was caught fabricating stories about Conservative Party MPs.

It makes me smile to hear how much of an up roar this is causing. MP's are acting as though this is a new form of behaviour. This has been the 'norm' in the corporate world for many years and I am sure it is not the first time it has happened in the political world.

It certainly reminds me of some of my corporate days and the types of behaviour some managers enacted. I remember a number occasions where managers stole ideas and programmes developed by other members of staff and claimed it as their own; Instances where some felt it to be better to destroy the reputation of others in an effort to climb the corporate ladder. This certainly not new.

I am not saying that I agree with it, on the contrary, I do not. I think it is both dishonourable, immoral and unprofessional.

The corporate or political arena are not the only place where dishonesty exists. I went into town today and parked my car in a paid and display space. The paying machine was not working.

In effect, it was not legal and should have had a sign on it indicating that should not be used yet. As I understand it, to make pay and display machines legal, requires the Council to put up an appropriate notice, near the machine, notify the public of its existence and the times pay and display will be in operation. There was no sign in place on this occasion.

Before I discovered this interesting fact, I had put a pound coin into the machine to cover half an hours parking, but the machine failed to issue a ticket or to return my pound. Another case of dishonesty really on the part of the City Council. I wonder how many people have lost money trying to use this machine?

Just as I was about to give the machine a thump, another driver walked up and stood next to me waiting to pay his parking fee. I explained that the machine was not working and that I had lost a pound.

He immediately pulled out his mobile phone and dialled the number listed on the machine for problems. He explained to the operator that the machine was not working. He also kindly explained my predicament, but then went on to say that he had lost £3.50. This took me by surprise, as he had not put any money in the machine and had arrived with his colleagues, after I had.

I must had admit, I did not dispute his claim. I was on my own and a little afraid at the possible outcome disputing his claim might raise. Needless to say he got free parking.

Just in case you were wondering, the operator advised us to leave notes inside our car windows explaining to any passing Traffic Warden that we had paid and by what period of time we should be returning. This I and my counterpart dutifully did.

Any way, going back to my original rant or should I say my original point - It seems that is it the norm to be dishonest and if one chooses not the be, you feel in the minority.

Just few minutes ago, as I sat here writing this blog, I heard on the news about the captain of the basket ball team that went to the Para-Olympics. He has been jailed for fraud, for claiming benefits when he should not have been.

The whole reason why the economy is in the situation it is in right now, is due to greed and dishonesty. Are we to believe that the only way to succeed is to be dishonest? I would hate to think so.

We forget that it was good morals, honesty, good values, care and respect for each other that made this Country a great democracy. A Country where people from all other the world have wanted to come and live. It seems to me that we are becoming a place were people are ashamed to be honest and fair. A place where the recent headlines have made me ashamed to be a part of.

I think that in our desire to create and gain as much money as possible at any cost, we have lost touch of what our true values are. Not only as a Nation, but as individuals. Our values and belief are what affects our actions and behaviours.

Many people to day may frown on such proverbs as the golden rule: 'Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you.' but these are the values that encourage us to behave in a manner that builds up our Country and each other.
Just in case I appear to be lapsing into a deep dark hole of despair, I am pleased note that I also heard a story this week on the radio about two young lads who found a bag full of money and handed in to Police. Thank heavens there is hope. From the mouths of babes...

I think my next blog should be focussed on the number of times I have come across someone being honest, don't you? Just to balance things out :-)

Honesty and Truth are certainly not dead, but could do with a little polishing up and dusting off right now.

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