As Max Hastings pointed out in The Mail this week (see here); “the resignation of Rebekah Brooks as chief executive of Rupert Murdoch’s News International represents a new eruption in the phone-hacking scandal that has damaged the media, police and the Cameron government…”
But as a nation, are we finally waking to smell the coffee of the high levels of sleaze, spin and corruption that exist within our public services, industrial organisations and our political hierarchy?
I doubt it; despite this latest hot potato of political and management integrity, following swiftly on from the barley cool cooked books of the MP’s expenses scandal, I’m shure there is still fayre a plenty yet to emerge from the kitchens of the modern-day chefs of artistic and creative (but dishonest) management…
“…When the dust settles from the phone-hacking row, the most serious reputational damage will almost certainly prove to have been sustained by the police…” (Max Hastings)
Hastings sums up many of my previous views about our politicians (and police leaders), perhaps in a far more eloquent and concise manner than I have previously achieved. The officers who serve and protect our society, and more importantly the recipients of that service, are the ones who are ultimately suffering from these self-important and self-serving leaders! As one of my friends said, when we discussed the matter during a Facebook conversation…
Max Hastings makes sense – the core audience of the police are dismayed at the ineffectual manner in which they have developed over the past few years – but it is the leadership that is lacking – as he says: “The decent officers, of whom there are many, deserve much better than they have got, and so does the British public.”
So as Ms Brooks is questioned after being arrested (see here) and the Met Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson quits (see here), what of the ultimate impacts upon our society? Rest assured, when the crap hits the fan there are many more who suffer further down the chains of command. As something of an aside; it’s a pity that a certain Chief Constable up north didn’t feel able to follow Stephenson’s leed but that’s another story.
Already there are many of the little people at News International who have been treated as sacrificial lambs by the Murdoch’s, in a vain attempt to maintain a squeaky clean image for their executive. Society is also now questioning the ethics and integrity of the police service as a whole. Public accountability is (rightly) important in any police service however, this is (wrongly) being based upon the actions/inactions of various individuals within a single force, all be it the largest one in the Nation.
This latter issue has massive implications for the British policing ethos of ‘policing by consent’, simply by creating further elements of doubt about integrity and professionalism in the public mind. One bad apple (or several) in the tub doesn’t actually mean they’re all bad. That said, the crap from the fan usually sticks but importantly, it also takes an age to clear away again. Once again the odd high-profile figure may be expended but many more lower rated individuals are also tarnished, and the rot continues. Especially if sufficient spin can sway the minds of the target audience of suspicious minds.
Our society has created a breed of high achievers who will stop at little or nothing to reach the top of their chosen path, irrespective of the harm they do to those services and individuals they climb all over to get there. As many of the self-serving drivers behind these traits are personal wealth, coupled with a good measure of self-importance, I see little opportunity for any real change. At least not in the short-term!
We no longer appear to have the ability to be genuinely happy with or accept our lot in life, we are constantly driven by the great god of cash. Where disgusting amounts of money (or popularity) are to be gained, either for ourselves or for our organisation, dishonesty and a distinct lack of integrity are (unfortunately) likely to prevail.
- The Best Article Ever Written (dickiebo.wordpress.com)
- Rebekah Brooks resignation: the key quotes (guardian.co.uk)
- James Murdoch: News Corp to apologise to the nation over phone hacking (telegraph.co.uk)
- Scotland Yard Commissioner resigns (independent.co.uk)
- Reaction to Stephenson resignation: ‘He’s accepted responsibility’ (guardian.co.uk)