Nejc: You got yourselve another crook.
CM: The point is that Wilberforce's moral stature isn't compromised by the 1780 Hull election.
SC: That is NOT the point.
What you are essentially saying here is that, in the case of Wilberforce, the end justified the means. But it is the ‘means’ that is the issue here – not the end result. Both Howard-Vyse and Wilberforce demonstrated their ability to blatantly and ruthlessly disregard the law of the land in order to obtain something they coveted. It is their absolute willingness to fight dirty and their ability to suspend their morality in order to achieve their goal that is the issue here, for that is the flawed character trait they both possessed and just because they may then have gone on to do some good, does not mean that this flawed character trait has been expunged from them. Ruthless people don’t become lambs overnight and we may never know when this ruthless character trait may rear its ugly head again with such individuals. That they have exhibited such ability once tells us in no uncertain terms that they are more than capable of doing so again when 'needs must'. And just because they may have fought dirty to do some good, is no assurance that they will always fight dirty to do good. That they possess such a ruthless character trait in the first place is the issue and it is that flawed character trait that should make everyone cautious of them no matter what good they may or may not have done.
Such individuals remain capable and willing, when it matters, to be ruthless and to do wrong to achieve what they covet and that is why we should always remain cautious of such people. In short, by their negative actions, the trust that individuals would otherwise have naturally placed in the likes of Howard-Vyse and Wilberforce, is rendered forfeit. One single rash act can destroy years of hard-earned trust and no amount of subsequent positive deeds is sure to fully win that trust back. We will always be wary - and rightly so - of such individuals.
By way of analogy – Jake the Fake was convicted of making fake bank notes. Imagine he enters your pub and gives you a fifty note for a pint of beer. You know who he is. Do you simply accept the fifty note without checking it? No, of course you don’t – you check it. Oh but wait – it was reported on the news the day before that Jake the Fake had saved a bunch of school kids from being hit by a runaway bus. He’s being praised everywhere for his heroic action in saving the kids. Jake the Fake is a national hero.
Question is – do you still check Jake the Fake's fifty note?
Post Edited (12-May-13 20:08)