If Tony Blair, a former Prime Minister, makes untold millions trading deals with shady despots in the Third World, is it really any surprise that many people – the electoral peasantry of our political masters – feel that to be honest in these circumstances is to be naive, a fool, a mug.
They are wrong, actually: it is important to be honest for the sake of one’s self-respect, but not everyone values their self-respect. . .
. . . Dishonesty is contagious. And the example our business, political and intellectual leaders give us is, to an unprecedented degree in recent memory, bad, corrupt and corrupting. . . Theodore Dalrymple in Cheats, spivs and small-time crooks: Britain is getting less honest, and it starts at the top