Here are three disturbing questions:
Chris receives some advice on a financial service. How does Chris know that the advice is right?
Alex lives in a care home. How does Alex know that the work of the carers is appropriate, and of a suitably high quality?
Sam’s school examination results are the entry ticket to a very promising
future. Or not. How does Sam know that the grades are correct?
These questions are disturbing. Of course financial advisers give good advice. And carers care, that’s what they do. And as for exam results – well, of course they’re right.
But how do you know? Suppose that the financial adviser just happens to have been wrong, or – worse – has an undeclared vested interest. Or that a carer has had a domestic problem that morning, and has forgotten to give Alex the usual daily medication. And somewhere, deeply hidden behind the scenes, is some unknown person, up late at night, marking any number of examination scripts. Suppose, just suppose, that the marker made a mistake – a mistake on Sam’s paper.
These questions are disturbing because they undermine something that we all cherish – a sense of trust; a sense of trust that helps make society run smoothly, and in a civilised manner. If that trust is eroded… oh! That’s a bad place to be…
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