A Lancashire dairy farmer writes for this website:
Recent events have led to widespread revelations of breaches of trust within many recognised establishments in our society. This ought to be a stark reminder of how we are all ultimately responsible for the success or failure of the society we live in and why it is essential to be informed, alert and to have a healthy concern for what is going on around us.
Following exposure of its former chairman and resignation of another board member, the new chairman of the Co-operative Group, Ursula Lidbetter, advises that it is vital to ensure effective scrutiny over those who are entrusted to make the significant decisions that will affect our society by ensuring democracy remains strong and central.
Good advice indeed when engagement and education other than for purely personal or financial reasons enables us to share the collective burden of upholding the democratic principles that are often easily undermined when critical decisions have to be taken behind the scenes for example to enable reasonable and legitimate commercial confidentiality or for reasons such as those involving national security.
When significant decisions have been taken, those affected must be informed and given the opportunity to communicate and actively discuss the reasoning behind any decision and question its wisdom or otherwise as it is vital that values and principles of integrity are upheld to ensure proper scrutiny of those who are trusted to represent us.