British approach to individual v institutional dishonesty – Gone with the Wind?

Terence Blacker of The Independent says the British have a perverse approach to lies in public life. When the dishonesty personal – an MP fibbing about his expenses, say – we erupt in fury but when it comes to an ‘institutional lie’ – one colluded in by politicians, civil servants & business – we greet it with ‘a resigned shrug’.

It was revealed that the Govt commissioned report on noise made by wind farms was ‘doctored’ or ‘sexed up’ as one Tony Bliar’s PM’s Official Spokesman Alastair Campbell, a sinister and Machiavellian figure, would put it.

The 2006 draft by acoustics firm Hayes MacKenzie said the noise from spinning turbines was enough to keep people awake and recommended lowering nocturnal noise limits. But this advise was conveniently removed from the final submission following pressure from civil servants.

It means that wind farms built since 2006 have received planning permission on the basis of ‘dodgy dossier’. The truth only emerged thanks to a long battle by campaigners using the FOI [Freedom of Information Act].

It is this sort of ‘organised ‘fraudulence’, rather than the peccadilloes of individual MPs, that should really outrage us.

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Filed under British Politics, Corruption, Global Credibility, Social Justice

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