Trust – a belief in the dependency of a person or institution – is in short supply. Associated concepts – integrity, honesty, morality, are also victims of the times we live in. Here’s my (incomplete) list of institutions I don’t trust:
- The state
- The state’s armed wings – the military, the police, the intelligence services
- The law
- Religious organisations
- The constitution (made up, un-written, unaccountable)
- The banks and any other financial organisation, including the World Bank
- Any politician
- The BBC
- Any governmental department or quango
- The monarchy
- The United Nations
Why these in particular? Because it is quite clear that they are only interested in their own survival and any other function is irrelevant. They are all masters of blame shifting, sometimes on to the most vulnerable people in our and other societies. People who can’t fight back.
It’s time to bring trust back in to the body politic of our lives.
We might start by making people in power visible and truly accountable. Not this democracy this once-in-five-years sham, but real democracy, where the people can get rid of those in power, including heads of institutions, at very short notice. But that would be a start only.
We really require a mechanism of true people participation in the decision making structures of our governance. Institutions, governments and states should be afraid of the people, not the other way around.
That may require a revolution, which will require charismatic leadership. Where is it? Really, where is the leadership that could carry millions of people with it to a better society? Some parties talk the talk, but all are unable to deliver the change we need – the change back to trust.