Richard Oliff: Who should we trust?

Disgraced former US President Richard Nixon. Politicians feature prominently on lists of untrustworthy occupations, says Richard Oliff
Disgraced former US President Richard Nixon. Politicians feature prominently on lists of untrustworthy occupations, says Richard Oliff
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Never trust a politician. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve heard this said.

Never talk to a journalist is advice given to many a celebrity via the odd protective agency or two.

And what can one say about the legal profession?

After all, according to one survey – produced by journalists – only 35 per cent of those questioned said they would trust a lawyer.

Then there are the accountants, engineers, mechanics, civil servants, teachers, builders, estate agents and let’s not forget the bankers.

The irony is that no matter how we feel about any or all of the above, the chances are that at some time or other, our faith and commitment has to be placed in their hands.

Even the lawyers need builders, the estate agents need to use the banks, and, as unlikely as it may sound, politicians have been known to manipulate the media: or should that be the other way round?

On the one hand it’s true to say certain “bad apples” in any walk of life can taint the rest, yet on the other hand isn’t it simply a case of a “love to hate” scenario?

Here are my confessions.

My solicitor is excellent: as is the estate agent who helped me move home in the past 12 months.

The mechanic who services my car is real find and the builder who built my extension some three years ago did exactly what it said on the proverbial tin.

So here’s a thought.

Firstly examine what it is you do on a day-to-day basis to earn a crust then, secondly, think openly and as honestly as you can about the people you expect to respect what it is that you do.

Then ask why it is so many of us are consistently judgemental, often unreasonably, about others.

Perhaps it’s easier to believe the stereotype.

Hands up. I’m a broadcaster and journalist, trusted by only seven per cent of the population. Ho hum.