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Suspicion

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A leaflet dropped through our door at home the other day disclosing further plans to oppose the building of an array of seven wind turbines nearby. The opposition to the scheme was well known to us, as the local press has been full of it for a year or so. Now I am as much of a "nimby" as I suppose most of us are, but somehow I cannot express my opposition. When I came to examine the leaflet setting out what was being done in my name, there were no details of who was leading the outcry, no names (other than the local MP, who had been invited to speak at a meeting) and no pleas for fighting funds to represent us at a public hearing.

My training (and indoctrination, I suppose) as a practising accountant tells me that I must identify those with whom I am going to do business principally at the command of those feared and disliked  Anti Money Laundering Regulations. Here is an example of what is becoming more common - an organisation that appears to have no connection with any identifiable group or set of individuals. We have seen this with the organisation that took HMRC to court over a tax settlement with Goldman Sachs. UK Uncut Legal Action appeared out of nowhere in 2010, founded (according to Wikipedia) by 10 activists. A little research indicates that these activists have connections with similar organisations, but it is very difficult to track down their exact objectives other than a general opposition to government cuts.

Am I seeing and imagining conspiracies? Am I overcome with my own cynicism? Am I losing it? Regarding the latter I could not say, but my granddaughter asked me to provide some ideas on the results of the Battle of Hastings and I managed to overcome that unenthusiasm for our history that only 12 year old girls can display. But if I am really losing it, how would I know? The mere fact that I question myself I suspect indicates that there is no real problem in that direction, or at least I am no worse that I have been for all my adult life.

But where do our responsibilities lie as far as our naturally suspicious natures are concerned? There is every likelihood that my irritation with our local wind farm objectors is just that, an irritation with no conspiracy or the like behind it. But we should question (at least in our own minds, if only for politeness sake) those who like to draw a veil of anonymity over their activities. Particularly those who one might describe themselves as "activists", for that term can cover everything from innocent scouting, to political disruptors, through those who seek to disrupt our society for monetary gain and ending up with those who seek to destroy our society and our citizens.

We should be aware because we owe a duty to our neighbours (and not just those who live next door but all of society) to act on our real suspicions, if only to avoid being that dork being interviewed on the news who use phrases like "but I never thought….", "It seemed a bit funny but…", or even appearing before a disciplinary hearing of our professional body and saying, "The AML rules? Well I never thought that…."

David Ingall

Past President

UK200 Group

 

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