Magazine article New Internationalist

Spilling the Beans

Magazine article New Internationalist

Spilling the Beans

Article excerpt

When I was growing up there was one thing you did not do: tell tales.

I suspect the reasoning behind it was that adults didn't want to become embroiled in children's squabbles.

Times have changed - and brought a greater realization of the harm done by putting secrecy (and often loyalty) above addressing wrongdoing. The recent coming to light of sex-abuse cases, going back decades, has made this explicit.

So common is the term 'whistleblower' today that it's easy to forget its relative newness. It only became a household term in the 1970s, popularized by US activist Ralph Nader. Whistleblowing tends to come in waves - and it's fair to say we are witnessing a tidal one right now. Necessary it most certainly is, as revelations show the extent to which we - the public - are being infantilized by the states that rule us and their so-called security apparatus.

All is not lost, though, as the courage of whistleblowers testifies. …

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