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Loyalty in an age of whistle-blowing & Wikileaks


Loyalty in an age of whitsleblowing and wikileaks

Until recently, leaking confidential information was perceived as disloyal and irresponsible and not only was it rare but involved a moral dilemma.  Yet now, it is secrecy, confidentiality and privacy that are stigmatised and Wikileaks is lauded for enabling individuals to spill the beans.  Is this development a triumph for transparency or a blow to moral integrity?  This Battle of Ideas debate is superb and speakers include: Mick Hume, editor-at-large, spiked; Joyce McMillan, theatre critic, Scotsman: Henry Porter, political columnist, Observer; Gwyn Prins, research professor, LSE and Richard Sexton, partner, PwC.

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Sheena Milton said:

The panel investigate the modern culture of whistleblowing and its’ effects on loyalty very well in this discussion. The young woman in the audience helps a lot in separating wikileaks from whistleblowing too. It is left to Mick Hume, however to make the call for a more healthy approach to political life in general – away from one which merely pries into the gizmo-assisted asides of others, rather than their public political beiefs, policies and statements.

Benjamin said:

Exactly Ryan, the example one of the speakers made about people who went out on the streets when the riots were going on to protect themselves and others but the government didn’t like this – it is okay for us to take our brooms out on the streets but not our muscle.

Ryan said:

What i thought was an important point is that actually thesedays we tend to see anything that is outside the governments watchful eye as dubious. We should remember the story about parliament below and realise that the government is not the one to look for to judge what is wrong and what is not.

Emily said:

Can’t believe Henry Porter was there, I love his novels! I liked his point about a lesser known figure in history (sorry forgotten his name) who was a journalist and fought to be able to write about what went on in parliament. At the time MPs said it would be a catastrophe and parliament would lose respect. So, it is important to be accountable to us but I also can see how everything doesn’t have to be public. Not sure what is private and what is public though.

Olivia said:

I agree with the last comment, it really took me by surprise this debate as it was dead more interesting than the usual stuff we get. I liked Mick Hume’s point on the fact we now have in society a crisis of commitment, which was backed up by Joyce McMillian who said there really isn’t anymore the allegiances we once had whether that would be towards the Queen or a political larger project. She was positive saying it opens it up, Mick was more critical and I lean towards him as you really don’t think you can even think allowed these days without being pulled up by the police!

Jayden said:

This is a really interesting debate, I expected it to be more of the same about MPs expenses but it really gets to the heart of what is really going on. There was a lot of discussion on how the norm these days is to be suspicious of everyone and institutions and so our actions often are about trying to catch people out. So loyalty which used to be seen as act of betrayal, and therefore the last resort if you really couldn’t work it out with the other party, is now seen as a duty.