Thursday, 30 July 2009

Bad faith and bad men

I've been pootling around in some law books (as you do). No, honestly, I find them quite soothing, but occasionally challenging and sometimes downright incomprehensible.

One thing struck me as I moodled around and that was the concept of bad faith. Mala fides. I guess you and I know it a bit better by its opposite number which is bona fides or good faith. When I make a contract, I trust in your bona fides. That is, I believe that you are morally sound, that you will agree a sensible exchange of some sort with me and you will stick to your word and carry out your side of the bargain. It can also be your character. Are you trustworthy? Can I put my trust you? Shall I be out of pocket or out of luck if I agree to deal with you?

Mala fides is with or in bad faith, and is also defined as 'dishonestly.'

Normally, I am willing to give someone the benefit of the doubt. I may feel I cannot trust person X but I might suspend my judgement and let them go ahead with whatever bargain we have made. That can lead to trouble. It can also lead to strengthening someone who almost never has had anyone else trust them so it can be a good thing.

It is not a good thing (it is, in fact, mala fides) when my children are concerned and their lives are scrutinised, picked over and dismissed. When the autonomous core of what they are is dissected and thrown out with the other refuse. I never trust anyone I do not know and who shouts a whole load of made-up nonsense, and grimy, sleazy nonsense too, about our lives. I trust no one who does not have an open mind, and cannot take the jump over ignorance into understanding. I cannot prove it, of course, but the course of action taken by Graham Badman and his panel of 'experts' leads me to believe that, if analysis t'were done it was done maliciously or in bad faith.

When you present part of a quotation to support your argument and do not quote the whole shebang, when you dizzy people with twists and turns in your faulty logic, when you dismiss perfectly respectable and responsible research - like Paula Rothermel's - because it disagrees with your chosen points, then you show mala fides.

When your irksome, expensive, ultra vires and against human rights and children's best interests recommendations are accepted by an increasingly unstable government on the same day as your report is released to the public who are directly and absolutely affected by your cogitations, then you demonstrate bad faith.

Anyone who supports a man or group of men who show bad faith are themselves contaminated by the soubriquet also. They are mala fides. Their reputations are irretrievably sullied; their academic understanding is suspect and damaged.

Should you seek to coerce another human being - for whatever reason - you inflict dreadful harm on yourself.

You must always be careful and consider what you do and why you do it. Your reputation is a precious manifestation of your innermost self, and once broken, can take years to recover; it may never be the same. And neither might the recipients of your bad faith.

So, Mr. Badman, I would be looking deep into a mirror, were I you today, and asking myself just who am I? What do I stand for? Am I mala fides?

But you won't, will you?

1 comment:

  1. Too right. I think it was you who drew a parallel with WMD on one of the national lists? That was so apt - we simply can't trust the weasel words of this government (actually, I think that's unfair to weasels). How can we as a nation allow such bad faith and misrepresentation to happen yet again?