The role of ethics in government and life

In the United States, the foundation for Ethics in Public Service is a non profit organisation dedicated to exposing Government corruption and educating the public on ethic-related issues.

In the United States, the foundation for Ethics in Public Service is a non profit organisation dedicated to exposing Government corruption and educating the public on ethic-related issues.

I am adamant that ethics, or more accurately, an absence of them, are at least partly to blame for our current woes. It all comes down to one word ‘TRUST’.

We need moral leadership, people who will stand up and bring voice and action to setting standards of behaviour and conduct. Where are the moral leaders today? I can think of one in my life time that stands out. I am sure there are many more examples, but, Dr Martin Luther King Jr. was somebody who truly believed in something. I always say if you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.

We need to be able to tell the truth in Ireland, and forgive ourselves, because unless, and until we do, we cannot take our seat at the table of nations. So we’ve got to get to the truth of what is going on here. It’s long been said that we’re only as well as our deepest secret. That of course is true of families, it is true of corporations and it’s true of society.

I may be completely wrong on this, but to me politicians now seem like they are off looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.

As children we were taught by our parents that it is wrong to lie, cheat and steal. As we grow up and enter the real world with some knowledge of right and wrong, we see firsthand the importance of ethical behaviour as well as its complexity. The role of ethics in our society is very necessary because it has a large influence on today as well as the future. We need to learn about good ethics, because they guide our decisions, make us who we are and determine our future.

At the moment Ireland’s highest economic need is - higher ethical standards - standards enforced by strict laws and upheld by responsible leaders

Whether you favour limited government, or one that plays a more active role, we can all agree government should be honest, effective and efficient, however in order to achieve this there must be a sufficient number of independent-minded watchdogs monitoring our public officials.

For example it’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are. And the definition of integrity is telling yourself the truth, and honesty is telling the truth to other people. People that value privileges above principles soon lose both.

“It is easier to fight for principles than to live up to them ..”

Leaders must leave behind their personal agendas. They must remain accountable, politically neutral and socially responsible. Officials must approach conflicts, which will arise, with prudence and courage. Then and only then, they will be in the right place to: evaluate current laws and regulations for effectiveness, pass new laws that will bring the people closer to harmony, and implement policies and procedures which will influence stability and authenticity for the nation as a whole!

But for now everything is changing, people are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke. Sometimes I wonder whether the world is run by smart people who are putting us on – or by imbeciles who really mean it. Well! That’s just my humble opinion!!

June Molony can be contacted on 087 9352773.