When public servants hide their doings, they lie. Sometimes they conduct themselves badly inadvertently, for no one is infallible. But oftentimes they misbehave because they believe they can hide it, or are as conceited as to believe they can fool the people, forgetting Abe Lincoln’s warning, that they may only fool some of us, some of the time.
Those who misbehave have the option of expressing remorse and issuing apologies. Gordon Campbell and Bill Clinton took the remorse and apologies option when caught in alcohol and tobacco offences, respectively. As a reminder, the former was caught driving drunk in Hawaii, the latter got into trouble when it leaked out that he was using an unorthodox way of moisturizing his cigars. But irrespective of what the misconduct is and how it happens, the moment the culprit decides to hide the event or his/her involvement in it, becomes a liar.
Since 2009 I have observed at close range the Trust lying to society. Before I realized how ingrained this was, I offered to “study the Trust interface with the people”. I would do it pro bono and I stipulated that my report would not be binding on the Trust, but a summary of it would be published. I never received a reply!
In 2012, the SSI LTC sought to do “a do-it-yourself reform job” instead and assigned the task to a Planner. The Planner, it appears, googled PRopaganda technology literature and started a series of reports. I stopped reading them early in the series when the Planner began talking on establishing “Two Way Dialogue”, which is as amusing as “Water Hydrology”, which also originated with the Trust.
Over the years I proposed to the Trust to tryout the Ideas Bank, a concept I developed in the 1960's while working on Tidal Power in the Bay of Fundy. Tidal Power was novel and fascinating and attracted a substantial public contribution, which I noticed the staff routinely wastebasketed. Thereafter all the people who addressed submissions to us received “answers”, real answers, no fake “thank yours”. This not because we had spare time, but because “each idea deserves the time its evaluation will take”, providing the reviewer is competent. And because good ideas are scarce and we must endeavour to harvest them all, lest a good one becomes lost.
The magnitude of the Trust resistance to open governance manifests their affliction with arbitrary conduct. The Trust resistance to the Ideas Bank manifests their recognition of its potency. And this they once expressed gloriously: A member of the Trust Top Brass, counter-argued the Ideas Bank with a rhetorical question: “Do you want to give the people a place to blast us every time we do things they do not like?”, the person asked.
When I regained consciousness, “Yes, I said, that is what the Ideas Bank is designed to do” – it, it is a means to a larger end, to the end people universally, through millennia, call “Democracy”. And many make the ultimate sacrifice in its pursuit.
I will keep on proposing the Ideas Bank till Hell freezes over, or someone shows me that the Trust can be meaningfully changed without it.