Well after some weeks off writing this blog, I feel it is time to get back to it. Thank you to all those who have been prompting me so to do.
At a very gloomy time for news, for me a bright spot has been the success of the group of retired Gurkhas in their fight for the right to settle in Britain. Leaving aside the immigration issues, the story is a very good example of a reality that being in power and having the support of lawyers officials etc., does not always mean that you are right. Here the government were wrongly advised and thank God for the impartiality of the courts. But does it always have to entail litigation?
We have developed a culture where it has become acceptable to be just inside the law. Such a culture pervades government, business and even the voluntary sector. It enables those in power to sit very likely to the needs of the powerless or to upholding what is right, because they know that, in the main, the powerless do not have the resources to champion what is right. Only the well resourced can take the risk of challenging the powerful, for if the powerful are in the end deemed to be just on the right side of what is lawful, then the financial consequences for the powerless can be disastrous.
The Gurkhas have been able to wage a very public campaign, but how many other instances are there of people with power and position, supported by lawyers, assuming they can do what they like because they are just inside the law? Those of us with power need to be certain that our first motivation is to do what is right, rather than what it is expedient. At times there will be those who will prompt the powerful to see what they can get away with, but the world is a better place when powerful are prepared to be wrong in the eyes of those driven by expedience, for the sake of doing what is right.
As we look at the turmoil on the global financial markets, how much of this is being driven by those who have lived just inside the regulations and just inside the law, justifying their risks because they can get away with them for short term advantage, rather than starting from a desire to do what is right for the long term.
The power to be wrong in the face of expedience, may, in the long-term, lead to a far healthier future - especially when you are dealing with people. When we work with people doing what is right builds trust – doing what we can get away with, erodes it – will the Gurkhas ever trust the government again?