Cllr Alan Dean

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Stansted North on Uttlesford District Council and former Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group Learn more

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by Alan Dean on 13 January, 2022

Integrity. Here is an online definition: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. Such as “a gentleman of complete integrity”.

Synonyms: honesty · uprightness · probity · rectitude · honour ·

Yesterday we saw the Prime Minster of the United Kingdom make an apology. Today it is reported that a few hours later Mr Boris Johnson was telling Conservative colleagues that he was really taking the flak for the failings of other, more junior people.

So a Bring Your Own Booze (BYOB) event in his own back garden at 10 Downing Street attended by the “man of the house” is really something Johnson would like to disown. Moreover, the PM would really like to redefine a BYOB party some 20 months ago as a work event, a government business event. This recently revealed party took place whilst the rest of the country was (mostly) abiding by the PM’s own rule that ordinary people (but apparently not the Westminster and Whitehall elite) could meet outdoors and socially distanced with only one other person from outside one’s own family.

Is “integrity” not understood? Is “honesty” a flexible concept? Is “uprightness” only for prudes? Does “probity” mean don’t probe too much? Is “rectitude” only for people with upright spines? Does “honour” now only apply to people who make large donations to the governing political party?

Why does this matter to me? Because integrity should also apply in local government.

Answers are invited on a sheet of vellum parchment from another age. The 2020/22 product is degenerate.

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