The quest for moral leadership • 10 July 2007 • The SnowBlog
The quest for moral leadership
Jumping right in with the ponderous pontificating, I think we - our society - is at a strange point in its history. Last century we outgrew all sorts of constraints on what a person could do. We recognised that you shouldn't hold someone back on the basis of gender or race or class or religion. And we also lost faith in political leaders, as well as many religious leaders. And the rock-n-roll era through to the Eighties taught us that the previous generation don't always have our best interests at heart either. The early 21st century added business leaders to the list of moral casualties. And then turned a number of leading politicians from targets of scepticism into something approaching Bond villains. We've got rid of all the bad, old rules governing how we should behave and we've lost our respect for anyone who might provide us with a new set. I thought the loss of our moral compass had been absolute, but I was still slightly surprised and disappointed to read about Blue Peter being fined because they announced a fake winner to a competition they were having technical problems with. I could be wrong, but it looks very much like Blue Peter engaged in the dreaded 'spin' to me. That's to say, the truth would have created the wrong sort of impression so they faked up something that showed them in a better light. I'm pretty sure that in the Blue Peter of my youth, Peter Purves would have said 'Well, we seem to be having a bit of trouble with our competition," and then John Noakes would have laughed his head off. The only consolation is that in an age of spin, the truth always comes out after a while and makes the spinners look bad. So wiser not to do it in the first place, surely?