Do the Right Thing

In everyone’s “walk of life” there are rules and regulations. There are laws for laws the man or woman in the street hadn’t even thought there was a need for. Check out the 42 Laws of Cricket and the 24 Rules of Golf.

All the laws, by-laws, rules and regulations are written for a purpose, some to endeavour to safe-guard us personally, financially, mentally, emotionally as a community and more.

Above all of that is our conscience and the need to do the right thing. There have been tomes written (and will continue to be written for some time) about the Hayne Royal Commission into the Banking and Superannuation sectors. The final Hayne Royal Commission report produced 3 tomes – the thump-test has passed with flying colours. These words have, quite rightly, focussed on the over-charging for services. Services provided to deceased persons as well as mere living mortals. WHY WHY WHY was the charging of fees to deceased persons allowed to occur? WHY WHY WHY was the charging of fees for no service allowed to occur? What are the processes, procedures, policies, rules and regulations within the Banking and Superannuation sectors? What were/are the auditors doing (I remember a case against the auditors of a life insurance company where the directors and managers conspired to rip-off the company creating bogus clients and claims – some death claims had the cause of death as a result of a hysterectomy. An unfortunate cause of death, however, pretty rare to occur in the case of the deceased being male). Where is the morality to deliberately charge for services not supplied legitimately?  Aren’t financial advisers required to advise their clients of what their charges are to be? If they had been doing so, then surely they would not have gotten a deceased person to agree to being charged, much less sign them off. Gordon Gecko’s mantra of “greed is good” is obviously still well and truly alive.

Why haven’t the consciences of the Banking and Superannuation sectors kicked in to “do the right thing”? Greed is one excuse (hardly a reason), no-one will ever know being another, corporate profits to be distributed to, hopefully living superannuants being another.

Doing the right thing isn’t confined to not throwing rubbish onto the street (bio-degradable or not) or into the waterways. It is intertwined into the Aussie psyche. That psyche sometimes gets a bit of a hiding when people don’t do the right thing.  A piece of sandpaper being the latest instrument used to do the damage. If the right thing had have been done in the cricket Test v South Africa, the reputations of 3 players and the team would not be in tatters. Having said that, Sandpaper-gate, the resultant changes to the team and the 2nd review of Cricket Australia have probably all conspired to cause a large degree of introspection/reflection/confession about how Australia plays the game. Doing the right thing would have been to toil away, do the best you can possibly do under the conditions at the time and in accordance with the Law.

So, you lose a game, guys (and gals) it is a bloody game – do the right thing and play it and be thrilled to bits you get paid handsomely to play… a game.