Commentary from Aaron Callan and cartoon from Brian Spencer
The past couple of weeks have witnessed the resignations at the BBC and CIA. Both these resignations have been well covered in the media. However, I believe that it represents a further undermining of the belief in our public and private institutions.
We just have to look over the last number of years here in the UK. From the MP’s
Expenses scandal to the Phone Hacking debacle and the financial crisis.
Our faith in institutions such as Banks, Newspapers and our political establishments has been greatly undermined because of these many scandals and unfortunately we have lost faith in them. There are grave consequences for our society as a whole when we lose faith in institutions which are as important as our political institutions and media.
The scandal involving the BBC is particularly worrying. The issue over
Jimmy Saville was created at the BBC. To add further disgrace to the BBC the Newsnight incident further undermined the credibility of the BBC.
With the loss of faith in the institutions and rise of new institutions such as the social media, the old establishments represented by the BBC and Fleet Street are losing their position as the faithful institutions we could rely on. The same could be said of Parliament over the MP expenses scandal.
Turning to the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus, a man who gave nearly forty years of public service, brought down by an extra martial affair sounds like something written from a comical spy novel. The story seems to be that the chief spy maker was being spied on by another spy institution. The story further thickens by how General Allen, the man who replaced him as commander in Afghanistan, has now also been entangled in scandalous behaviour. As a result of this, President Obama has been sapped from his momentum of his election win and with his Secretary of State leaving post soon and this resignation it causes issues for his national security team, which, is more troubling at a time when tensions are so high in the Middle East.
Looking back at the situation at the BBC, I believe, they need to get back to basics and back to the values which the BBC greatly represented for so many years. When senior figures such as David Dimbleby were speaking about the issues at the top tier of the BBC management, they should be listened to. Hopefully the situation at the BBC will be corrected. Likewise, in our other great institutions which have been affected by scandal. Without faith in our public and private institutions the idea of the fabric which holds society together becomes weaker.