Thursday, 14 May 2009

The Moral Abacus

One of the most absurdly named programmes on the radio is called "The Moral Maze". I say it is absurd because it seems to me that it is based upon a rather silly premise- that the Good or right thing to do in any given circumstance is only apprehended with difficulty. In my experience that is more like the opposite of reality. In truth the morally good or right course of action is pretty obvious. It is, however, doing it that is frequently difficult and sometimes difficult in the extreme. This thought returned to me earlier today when one of the disgraced members of parliament declared that he had "made an error of judgement" in claiming money to which he had not been entitled. Surely, I thought, that was not in itself an error such as one might make in adding up some figures- like an arithmetical mistake. A little more reflection, however, convinced me that, perhaps, he was being more honest than he meant to be. He had indeed miscalculated- the sum of how much he could get away with!

Some people seem surprised at the apparent wickedness of so many MPs manifested in the present money scandal. For my part I shouldn't expect a parliament that has done as much evil as the present one to include many decent people. We can hardly expect those unfaithful in great matters to be faithful in lesser ones.

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