Home Truths

By randall, jeff | Management Today, June 2001 | Go to article overview

Home Truths


randall, jeff, Management Today


Let's call it the Claims Direct culture. I refer to the insidious trend in Britain towards seeking someone else to blame when things go wrong.

In an uncertain world, where events conspire to make earning a living more difficult than we would like, it is inevitable that sometimes we suffer misfortune's slings and arrows. Life is not fair, and those who expect it to be so have missed the point.

Yet, many are no longer prepared to accept that, as a movie criminal once put it, 'shit happens'. Far from it. With Claims Direct and its rival ambulance-chasers telling us 'where there's blame, there's a claim', those who have been the victim of bad luck are increasingly encouraged to find a 'culprit' to pay compensation. This corrosive process helps to rot Britain's social fabric, corrupting positive values, such as taking full responsibility for one's own actions.

The desire for self-exculpation cuts across class and income boundaries. At the top of British industry, company directors will often perform intellectual back-flips rather than own up to having dropped a clanger. Something out there in the vast unknown has confounded their masterplans; so who or what can be blamed?

In recent years, the public relations industry has developed the manufacture of excuses into a perverse art form. Britain's railways cite leaves on the line for late autumn trains, a furniture group claims we stopped buying sofas because of national depression over the death of Princess Diana, and a range of non-agriculture businesses blame their underperformance on the foot-and-mouth epidemic.

Recent brazen excuses included a cracker from British Telecom chief executive Sir Peter Bonfield. Having paid [pound]10 billion for a third-generation mobile telephone licence (looks expensive now, doesn't it?), he lashed out at the Government over the auction process.

Sir Peter complained that 'everybody has been surprised at the amount governments in Europe have extracted from our industry'. True, and none more so than British chancellor, Gordon Brown, whose Treasury coffers banked an eye-popping [pound]22 billion from the 3G auction. But this was no state-sponsored mugging. BT was not compelled to bid and could have walked away at any stage.

Yet to hear Sir Peter grumbling that 'obviously we will get a lower return than we were originally thinking', you could be forgiven for believing that Brown had staged a smash-and-grab raid.

The hunt for a culprit to pay compensation is no less intense at the other end of society, among the ranks of hourly-paid workers. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Home Truths
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.