Editorial: Perception

POSTED: 04/3/14 3:00 PM

With three integrity inquiry commissions underway on half of a small Caribbean island, an outsider can be forgiven for getting the impression that this is nothing more than a viper’s den.

This would, however, be unfair to the island and the majority of its people, many of whom are decent and hard working. Perception and reality are often not the same, but perception has a notorious way of becoming its own reality. And this is the problem.  A lie spoken often enough can become the truth.

For example, Transparency International’s methods are based primarily on perceived levels of corruption, not actual cases of corruption.

The Guardian newspaper in the UK, for example, criticizes the NGO because it bases its findings on a small elite group of “experts and business people.” The Economist refers to Transparency International’s global index as the “murk meter,” also for this reason.

There is no escaping political motivations, regardless of how good the intentions. What is perceived as fair by one can be perceived as foul by another.

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