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Monday, 22 June 2009

Demand “openness”

The saga of the UK House of Commons MPs and their expenses will long continue. Two key words are endlessly repeated: “transparency” and “redaction”.

These are key words because of what they hide. Transparency means things can be seen but not touched as through a window or a computer screen. This is often not enough. Something may look real but only be lifelike. That’s why so many MPs want this so they can then pull the wool over the eyes of the world.

The Humanist principle of “openness” is required, not “transparency”. To test if something is genuine and not a fake it is often necessary to be able to pick it up by the ears and shake it or to be able to turn it inside out. So listen out and demand “openness” and don’t accept mere “transparency”.

“Redaction” is a word being used by spin doctors to try to disguise their real activity of censorship to keep the public in ignorance of what is really going on.

It is clear from those supposed to safeguard the interests of others be they MPs or bankers that what is needed is public accountability. It is up to the public in all parts of the world to ensure that we get it.

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