Regardless of the outcome of further investigations, in recent weeks we have seen representatives of a growing number of public institutions accused of hypocrisy at the least and criminal behaviour at the worst.
It might be wondered what is happening to public trust in the corporate bodies represented here. If we are unable to trust any of the corporate bodies which represent us, how can society continue to function?
There would seem to be two things we, the public, can do to improve the situation. First, we tend to be in awe of the concept of “leadership” – in spite of all evidence to the contrary, believing that leaders are some sort of hero figures who will get us out of a mess without action on our behalf.
We need to stop this and take back our own power to be responsible for holding these people to account for their actions, giving them appropriate constructive feedback where necessary.
Secondly, when representative public bodies get too big, they become a vehicle for self-serving and greedy individuals to organise things to their own advantage – we need to keep them small and accountable to avoid this happening.
In the 1980s, a psychologist called Alistair Mant wrote a book, Leaders We Deserve, in which he pointed out that if we take no responsibility for the bodies which represent us and leave it to the individuals who only seek power to run them, we have only ourselves to blame.
Sadly, he seems to have been proved right.
(Dr) Mary Brown