A look at the biggest casualty of Boris Johnson’s COVID-19 Britain, without which life becomes meaningless
- Kamran Mofid
- Hits: 114
Trust is the essence of life and leadership to build a better world for all
...and when that trust is broken all is lost it's all over
Life loses its meaning and purpose
Dominic Cummings’ actions damage public trust
‘We are in a public health crisis unprecedented in living memory. We have written to the prime minister because we are very concerned for the safety and wellbeing of the public. There is ample evidence that effective epidemic control requires the public to trust and respect both the messages and the messengers who are advocating action. This trust has been badly damaged by the actions of Dominic Cummings, including his failure to stand down or resign in the public interest, and Boris Johnson’s subsequent unwillingness to remove him.
As lockdown is eased, public trust and high compliance is essential to reduce the risk of a second spike in infections and deaths. It is vital for all people in positions of power to follow the rules with the same discipline as the rest of the population. The public also needs to see that the necessary infrastructure and effective systems are put in place rapidly and effectively…’-Excerpts from The Letter to the Observer (Sunday 31 May 2020) and signed by 26 senior UK academics and health administrators. Read the full letter and see the signatories HERE
How can we live and lead a good life when we can trust no one and no one trusts us? Or, is life possible or meaningful without trust? Let me explain a bit more:
As it has been observed time and again, “Trust is the treasure of our daily lives. However, we do not understand its value. It is generally seen that trust in our daily lives is disappearing fast.
"Trust in each other gives strength and vitality to our relationships. It gives us inner happiness, which is priceless. It brings joy all around and life appears brighter and brighter. Its fragrance spreads far and wide. Trust keeps us in a positive mental framework. When you trust each other you feel self-confident. The feeling of believing others is electrifying. It not only provides a sense of security, but provides new zeal to fight the vagaries of life. Trusting each other gives us a sense of deep bonding. It signifies that we are united to fight the battles ahead. Trust is a synonym for warmth in our relationships.
"With so many advantages of trusting each other, how do we feel when germs of mistrust appear?"...Crisis in Trust and Perpetual Global Crisis
The Covid-19 outbreak has exposed deep-rooted weaknesses in the UK’s institutions and most tragically, once again, it has highlighted the collapse in trust between the rulers and the ruled.
Photo: The Guardian
‘The Irish Times columnist Fintan O'Toole nailed it this week when he observed that Johnson and Cummings made the people who placed trust in them feel like fools: "As the Catholic Church found in Ireland, people don't forgive violation of the sense of meaning that gives dignity to their own sufferings."- Quoted by Paola Totaro, The Sunday Morning Herald
‘’The great populist fallacy is that all a leader needs to claim consent is to win an occasional election. Then anything goes. Philosophers from John Locke to John Stuart Mill have stressed that democracy also requires a continuing contract, in which the state receives the trust of the people by trusting them in turn, rather than enslaving them.’- Simon Jenkins, ‘Britain's double shame: coronavirus deaths and economic collapse.’
‘Trust is the most precious commodity in any walk of life. The baleful fact is that the British government, in the midst of a profound and unprecedented crisis, is led by a man, and the party faction he represents, who cannot be trusted.
The atmosphere in No 10 is reported to be rancorous. Ministers, officials and special advisers are mutually suspicious. The prime minister, never a man for detail, habitually relies on foppish charm, wordplay and a ruthless readiness to make or drop any promise if it serves his interest. Whatever else this gang inspires, it’s neither loyalty nor trust…
In short, we need good government by politicians who believe in it and understand the profundity of that responsibility. Good government is not achieved by half-truths, dissimulation and jokes. Johnson and his flyblown Brexity Tories are demonstrating, as Britain’s death rate begins to exceed Italy’s, that they are not the people for the task. The question is not if, but when the government accepts that its old faiths have died – and not if, but when it is forced aside by those who understand we need to trust our rulers.’- Will Hutton, ‘Trust is essential in these times. But Boris Johnson is not a man to be trusted’
‘The taint of Cummings’ behaviour has spread to every cabinet minister who defended him, telling the nation that Dom’s only crime was loving his family too much – and so implicitly telling every Briton who obeyed the rules that they loved their family too little. Each one of them is shrunk by this.
Naturally, the politician most wounded is Johnson. He has insulted the very people who voted for him last December, whether one-time Labour voters or lifelong Tories. Anyone who followed the rules has reason to be livid. No wonder one Tory MP, a former minister, told me in despair this week: “This is a cabinet of fools led by a hollow narcissist who is nothing without his svengali.”...
…’Which brings us to the real victims of Cummings’ actions. Not him or his bosses and their political careers – but the British people. What Cummings did wrecked public trust, turning us cynical about instructions from those in charge. Public trust is not merely a political commodity: in a pandemic, it is an essential public health resource. And now it has been badly depleted.
So when the health secretary, Matt Hancock, tells Britons it is their “civic duty” to isolate if they’re identified as a contact of someone who’s tested positive, the natural impulse will be to laugh in his face. Civic duty indeed. Tell that to Cummings. Now an essential public health message has to be qualified and caveated to accommodate Cummings’ behaviour. Isolate – unless your “instincts” say otherwise. Isolate – unless childcare gets a bit tricky. It doesn’t quite carry the same force, does it?’...Jonathan Freedland, ‘Dominic Cummings and Boris Johnson have wrecked something precious’
The pertinent question in everybody’s mind surely must be: How will we ever recover from the coronavirus crisis if we can’t trust Boris Johnson and his equally untrustworthy front team to do the right thing for us?
‘Trust in government is crucial if we expect citizens and businesses to respond to public policies that aim to lift us out of the lockdown and put us on the road to recovery.
If we don’t trust the Government to do the right thing, we won’t have the confidence to return to work, school or the high street.
Trust and confidence matters. It matters because it saves lives in the middle of a public health emergency. It matters because we all have to work together as we lift the restrictions and try to get back to normal.
A lack of trust and confidence in the Government costs jobs, profits and growth – causing deep economic scarring beyond the public health crisis that need not have been the case.’...- Darren Jones is the Labour MP for Bristol North West and the Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee, Continue to read
The end of trust in our political class and their brand of populism
The erosion of trust is not an illusion.
‘We all depend on our social, business, financial, and political affairs, on a shared currency of trust. But we have somehow devalued this currency and breaches of public trust have recently grown to epidemic proportions.’+
Yes. This is very true: The more I read, the more I investigate and research, the more I discover that, all over the world, there is no trust in anything or anybody any more. No trust in politics and politicians, no trust in the media, education, lawyers, police, army and the judiciary, medicine and the medical profession, business and finance, banks and insurance, food, food-processing, supermarkets and agriculture, as well as all sorts of tradesmen and traders, and God forbid, even religion and charities. Do I need to mention more! This, I am sure, resonates with so many people around the world.
Brand trust is disappearing fast as ‘We no longer enjoy high levels of confidence in fellow citizens, much less social institutions, and are increasingly skeptical of those holding positions of authority.’
‘Trust is a public virtue in that it is a property or characteristic that communities need to possess in order to function well. Trust among members of a community facilitates exchange among individuals and social interaction. In this sense, trust can be understood as an aretaic (“virtuous”) property that contributes to the well-being or excellence of a community in the same way that virtues are understood as properties or character traits that contribute to individual flourishing.’
‘Simply put, to live in a community where people render aid to strangers without fear of suffering harm requires us not only to condemn violations of this norm but to offer assistance when we can, even in the face of uncertainty. If we do not engage one another in a trusting and trustworthy manner, we fail to maintain a community that reflects these values, and we diminish our ability to flourish both individually and collectively.’- To read more and note the original source/s of the quotes above see: Crisis in Trust and Perpetual Global Crisis
To reverse this destructive path we need a different model of education and we need a different economic value and economy. However, these are not possible to achieve so long as The Fraudulent Ideology reins supreme. Full stop. Carpe Diem!
"Sharing the Wisdom, Shaping the Dream:
Reclaiming the Moral and Spiritual Roots of Economics and Capitalism"
Wisdom and the Well-Rounded Life: What Is a University?
...And in conclusion, given what has been written about TRUST in this Blog, we should see the article below which was first noted in a GCGI Blog on 12 June 2019: Britain today and the Bankruptcy of Ideas, Vision and Values-less Education
I was Boris Johnson’s boss: he is utterly unfit to be prime minister
An article by Max Hastings*
Boris Johnson with Max Hastings in 2002. Photo: Nigel Howard/ANL/Rex Features, via The Guardian
‘The Tory party is about to foist a tasteless joke upon the British people. He cares for nothing but his own fame and gratification’
‘He would not recognise the truth, whether about his private or political life, if confronted by it in an identity parade.’
‘Six years ago, the Cambridge historian Christopher Clark published a study of the outbreak of the first world war, titled The Sleepwalkers. Though Clark is a fine scholar, I was unconvinced by his title, which suggested that the great powers stumbled mindlessly to disaster. On the contrary, the maddest aspect of 1914 was that each belligerent government convinced itself that it was acting rationally.
It would be fanciful to liken the ascent of Boris Johnson to the outbreak of global war, but similar forces are in play. There is room for debate about whether he is a scoundrel or mere rogue, but not much about his moral bankruptcy, rooted in a contempt for truth. Nonetheless, even before the Conservative national membership cheers him in as our prime minister – denied the option of Nigel Farage, whom some polls suggest they would prefer – Tory MPs have thronged to do just that.
I have known Johnson since the 1980s, when I edited the Daily Telegraph and he was our flamboyant Brussels correspondent. I have argued for a decade that, while he is a brilliant entertainer who made a popular maître d’ for London as its mayor, he is unfit for national office, because it seems he cares for no interest save his own fame and gratification.
Tory MPs have launched this country upon an experiment in celebrity government, matching that taking place in Ukraine and the US, and it is unlikely to be derailed by the latest headlines. The Washington Post columnist George Will observes that Donald Trump does what his political base wants “by breaking all the china”. We can’t predict what a Johnson government will do, because its prospective leader has not got around to thinking about this. But his premiership will almost certainly reveal a contempt for rules, precedent, order and stability.
A few admirers assert that, in office, Johnson will reveal an accession of wisdom and responsibility that have hitherto eluded him, not least as foreign secretary. This seems unlikely, as the weekend’s stories emphasised. Dignity still matters in public office, and Johnson will never have it. Yet his graver vice is cowardice, reflected in a willingness to tell any audience, whatever he thinks most likely to please, heedless of the inevitability of its contradiction an hour later.
Like many showy personalities, he is of weak character. I recently suggested to a radio audience that he supposes himself to be Winston Churchill, while in reality being closer to Alan Partridge. Churchill, for all his wit, was a profoundly serious human being. Far from perceiving anything glorious about standing alone in 1940, he knew that all difficult issues must be addressed with allies and partners.
Churchill’s self-obsession was tempered by a huge compassion for humanity, or at least white humanity, which Johnson confines to himself. He has long been considered a bully, prone to making cheap threats. My old friend Christopher Bland, when chairman of the BBC, once described to me how he received an angry phone call from Johnson, denouncing the corporation’s “gross intrusion upon my personal life” for its coverage of one of his love affairs.
“We know plenty about your personal life that you would not like to read in the Spectator,” the then editor of the magazine told the BBC’s chairman, while demanding he order the broadcaster to lay off his own dalliances.
Bland told me he replied: “Boris, think about what you have just said. There is a word for it, and it is not a pretty one.”
He said Johnson blustered into retreat, but in my own files I have handwritten notes from our possible next prime minister, threatening dire consequences in print if I continued to criticise him.
Johnson would not recognise truth, whether about his private or political life, if confronted by it in an identity parade. In a commonplace book the other day, I came across an observation made in 1750 by a contemporary savant, Bishop Berkeley: “It is impossible that a man who is false to his friends and neighbours should be true to the public.” Almost the only people who think Johnson a nice guy are those who do not know him.
There is, of course, a symmetry between himself and Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn is far more honest, but harbours his own extravagant delusions. He may yet prove to be the only possible Labour leader whom Johnson can defeat in a general election. If the opposition was led by anybody else, the Tories would be deservedly doomed, because we would all vote for it. As it is, the Johnson premiership could survive for three or four years, shambling from one embarrassment and debacle to another, of which Brexit may prove the least.
For many of us, his elevation will signal Britain’s abandonment of any claim to be a serious country. It can be claimed that few people realised what a poor prime minister Theresa May would prove until they saw her in Downing Street. With Boris, however, what you see now is almost assuredly what we shall get from him as ruler of Britain.
We can scarcely strip the emperor’s clothes from a man who has built a career, or at least a lurid love life, out of strutting without them. The weekend stories of his domestic affairs are only an aperitif for his future as Britain’s leader. I have a hunch that Johnson will come to regret securing the prize for which he has struggled so long, because the experience of the premiership will lay bare his absolute unfitness for it.
If the Johnson family had stuck to showbusiness like the Osmonds, Marx Brothers or von Trapp family, the world would be a better place. Yet the Tories, in their terror, have elevated a cavorting charlatan to the steps of Downing Street, and they should expect to pay a full forfeit when voters get the message. If the price of Johnson proves to be Corbyn, blame will rest with the Conservative party, which is about to foist a tasteless joke upon the British people – who will not find it funny for long.’
*Max Hastings is a former editor of the Daily Telegraph and the London Evening Standard
This article by Max Hastings was first published in the Guardian on Monday 24 June 2019