This week

Reputation and Public Perception


Maria’s Midweek Mindfulness 


Upholding our values


Probably a bit controversial this week, sometimes I want to express values that I hold dear and the current situation with Dominic Cummings provides a good example of what happens when values are not honoured.

The Prime Minister sent every household a letter which includes the sentence, ‘That is why we are giving one simple instruction. You must stay at home’. There was no asterisk indicating some ‘small print’

Dominic Cummings told us that in driving 260 miles, he did not act outside of the ‘small print’.

There are many observations and variations on the story, you may want to do some research. I do not want to add to the attacks though I find some of the further allegations very interesting.

What I believe to be important in this case are values of timely transparency and honesty which are undermined. The government did not volunteer the information, it was ‘found out’ and this is what usually gets people upset.

We want to put our trust in people who lead by example. If you are part of writing the rules then we want to see you going above and beyond in upholding them.

It’s encapsulated in the Nolan Principles for public life. The 7 principles of public life apply to anyone who works as a public office-holder. I like the Nolan Principles as a guide for measuring our ‘people in high places’.

  1. Selflessness

Holders of public office should act solely in terms of the public interest.

  1. Integrity

Holders of public office must avoid placing themselves under any obligation to people or organisations that might try inappropriately to influence them in their work. They should not act or take decisions in order to gain financial or other material benefits for themselves, their family, or their friends. They must declare and resolve any interests and relationships.

  1. Objectivity

Holders of public office must act and take decisions impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias.

  1. Accountability

Holders of public office are accountable to the public for their decisions and actions and must submit themselves to the scrutiny necessary to ensure this.

  1. Openness

Holders of public office should act and take decisions in an open and transparent manner. Information should not be withheld from the public unless there are clear and lawful reasons for so doing.

  1. Honesty

Holders of public office should be truthful.

  1. Leadership

Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and be willing to challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.


Maria’s Midweek Mindfulness

When I compare the 7 principles to the Dominic Cummings case, I would like him and the Prime Minister to resign.


The Wednesday Whisper

How do you measure government performance against the 7 principles?


Would you be willing to share this blog and repost it?