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Feedback: 'Spinning the Integrity of a Nation'

Sir

Some politicians and bureaucrats have a saying, 'it's not what is right - it's what works'. This allows for greater manipulation and interpretation without acknowledging honesty. The public, however, expect people in all seats of power including those in business to be accountable, credible and hold to their integrity to govern and develop the future for the populous. This notion goes as far as expecting true honesty at all times.

Issues can be 'spun' or diverted by attitudes and agendas and by pressures from media and talk-back. Uncomfortable issues are often smartly parcelled up and hidden without the public being aware that society's standards have taken a bend in the road. The public just keep on accepting, either because they are naive or have no way of voicing disapproval or in having things changed.

We have laws and codes of behaviour for obvious reasons. Honesty is honesty. Dishonesty, how ever it is couched, is still dishonesty. We also know that "the higher you go, the greater the fall from grace". Too often this is used as a reason for diverting from justice, rather than taken as advice to those contemplating unscrupulous behaviour.

People will actually excuse others, even put them above the law and treat them as elite - without realising why the country has laws. This is real 'judge and jury' stuff which occurs outside the brain and does not address honesty and equality. We also call it 'cutting the cloth to suit'.

In the last few weeks we have seen many examples of dishonesty. In fact in the last three years we have seen numerous examples of blatant political dishonesty, all of which extracted different reactions from Jo Bloggs public. Calling for resignations lands on deaf ears. I wonder why? Has all this something to do with finally wearing the public down into accepting that anything goes as long as the spin fits the 'victim' who happens to be in the public limelight?

Don't bother bringing up the one about 'casting the first stone'; just revisit the old fashioned idea 'to thine own self be true' and take a hard look at how far down the mucky road we have been led by those who are eager to confess that they know best.

Spin doctors are part of the problem - they've become too good at their job. It's this 'art' that has been used to obscure honesty as well as dishonesty, leaving a way out for those desperate to escape. The art of spinning away from honesty is in itself dishonest.

I wonder if education and academia give a sense of pride and power but then develop into arrogance and elitism, quashing accountability especially when one has stepped over the line of the law?

The public has the opportunity via an independent body, to establish honesty and ratification of behaviour for those who have been abusing their free run of things. The politicians tried to govern themselves by writing legislation on such issues but forgot it was meant for them to partake in as well. These people are supposed to be servants of the taxpayers and we need to remind them of that by laws that must be upheld with lawful behaviour, and of resignation. With an election looming, the Prime Minister shouldn't be the only one to redress the issue of integrity: it is up to all of us to do just that.

When we dredge up excuses that in fact should have been the reasons for not doing it in the first place, this is a huge lesson in integrity that confronts us as a nation, at home and abroad.

Raewyn Ewing
Christchurch


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