Tristan Blythe: We all want and deserve to be treated fairly

01 Feb 2022 Voices

Everybody has different morals and viewpoints. But if there is one thing that most people would agree as a minimum standard then it is probably fairness: that people are treated fairly and that the same standards apply to everybody.

It is this feeling that is behind the widespread public anger of recent weeks – that the sense of fair play has disappeared from public life.

For while Boris Johnson may “implicitly believe” that the going-ons at Downing Street were “work events”, it doesn’t appear that way to many people. It seems to them that there was one rule for those in charge and another for the rest of the population.

It looks, to all intents and purposes, that while families were not able to visit dying relatives or unable to sit together and comfort one another at funerals, senior politicians and civil servants were partying.

Even if, as the prime minister was arguing at one time, no rules were broken and the guidance was followed, the perception is still one of unfairness. Many people were still working remotely and not seeing colleagues (or friends) at all, let alone socialising over a drink with them. They believed this was the right and safe thing to do.

So, where is the fabled British sense of fair play?

While the news of the past few weeks has led some to ask this question, others have been asking it for years.

Those within minority and underrepresented groups have felt marginalised and held back unfairly for a long time.

It is welcoming to see many organisations, both within the charity sector and outside it, acknowledge there are deep-rooted issues that need to be addressed. Yet, for all the well-intended statements and comments, action needs to follow.

It would be unfair to say that no action has been taken, but these are early steps on the journey. This is not an easy-to-fix issue. It also needs to be recognised that money will need to be spent if action is to be effective.

Therefore, it is crucial that finance teams are involved in these discussions and that they use their power to help in this area. This month, our cover theme looks at how this is being done, the opportunities that there are and the cost of not taking action.

After all, the charity sector should be at the forefront of fighting inequality and promoting fairness.

Tristan Blythe Editor, Charity Finance 

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