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Wink wink, nudge nudge

7 July 2009

“Good name in man and woman’s dear, my lord; is the immediate jewel of our souls: who steals my purse, steals trash … but he that filches from me my good name robs me of that which not enriches him, and makes me poor indeed,” so says scheming Iago to Othello as he works him on to his doom.

Whatever poison Iago dripped into his general’s ear, he was speaking the truth here. We all know that the consequences of the parliamentary expenses scandal are serious: the very people who are trusted to legislate, scrutinise and hold to account the executive have, to varying degrees, been found to be seriously wanting.

Of course not all of them are in this category, but a significant number are for the damage to have been done. Trust, like respect, can take a lifetime to acquire and no time to lose.

Take it on trust?

This is very relevant to our world. Our professions run on trust. We have to be able to know that when one lawyer says some...

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