Sunday, 26 April 2009

Wisdom, Justice, Compassion, Integrity

The words "Wisdom, Justice, Compassion, Integrity" are woven into thistles at the head of the mace to represent the aspirations of the Scottish people for the Members of their Parliament.

I do not know how those four words in particular came to be on the mace, and at first glance it seems easy to think of others that might have sat there quite nicely. Truth, trust, honesty, tolerance for example.

But the words on the mace are really clusters of dispositions, rather than discreet concepts; thus the creators have also ensured value for money - many words for the price of just four. Tolerance, for example, is surely implicit in compassion; and truth, trust (trusting and trusted) and honesty are core ingredients of integrity.

If you want to know what a western government looks like when it lacks wisdom, justice, compassion and integrity, you need look no further than the island of Jersey, and in particular the response of the island's establishment to the allegations of decades of concealed abuse in its childcare establishments.

The best starting place is here.

1 comment:

uruisg said...

I am interested to know where these four words originate from. On a recent search I was very surprised to see this blog posting of mine appear as the first item in Google.

So I guess people must occasionally find themselves here. Does anyone know the origins of the "Wisdom, Justice, Compassion, Integrity" inscription?

A second hope is that some of those who stumble upon this posting will take the trouble to follow the link to Jersey and see what has been going on there - the more people know, the sooner change will come!