Letter: Code of ethics

The Scotsman has many fine columnists, but Professor Hugh McLachlan (Perspective, 21 July) stands out for me in terms of inspiring full consideration, rather than simple acceptance or rejection, of his arguments.

Confusion of the roles of law and morality easily leads to erratic judgment, as illustrated in two recent episodes with vividly differing effects.

A Hearts footballer was justly punished in court for improper internet behaviour, resulting in public demands that he be sacked; a completely inappropriate response, as was the decision of club sponsors to withdraw support.

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The emotional phrase "role model" was employed, along with the meaningless term "family club".

Footballers routinely assault each other and cheat by "diving"; is that acceptable for a role model? Should Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs be sacked for their off-field behaviour?

Then there is the Murdoch phone-hacking affair, which would surely have been shrugged off by a cynical public but for the involvement of Milly Dowler, servicemen and terrorist victims. Yet the justifiable moral outrage provoked by such despicable tactics was irrelevant to the crime itself, which was the same in all cases.

I hope some of your readers will disagree with me.

Robert Dow

Ormiston Road