lauraxpeace (lauraxpeace) wrote,

Where are the Quaker whistleblowers?

I presume we've all heard the stories - sometimes third hand but consistently and from several people. Some of our Quaker institutions are not being run with integrity. Some of the the Friends we employ to carry out roles are incapable or even corrupt or bullying in their behaviour and yet carry on in those roles for years. Sometimes trustees will let situations continue until the Friends retire. Shocking. Unconscionable. People are suffering, work is not being done and our institutions are at risk of being brought into disrepute. I for one will not be looking for service or employment in these institutions until there have been major changes in personnel.

We see this in non-Quaker institutions, certainly in Britain, all the time and it is permitted with a kind of gentlemen's agreement acceptance of white collar misbehaviour. Is it just middle class politeness at work? Or are all the trustees, over several years, in several institutions, completely unaware of the day to day dysfunction of the work they ostensibly oversee and hold responsibility for? I suspect that many trustees are holdovers from the era of Quaker bounty. Now, however, we are an ever-shrinking church with dwindling financial resources and at the same time, the third sector has professionalised and its institutions are held to higher and stricter standards. The work done in our name and paid for by us, should be of a high standard and effective or it should not be done. All those individuals involved should be and know they are accountable.

I am not in a position to be a whistleblower because I am fortunate to not have first-hand experience. I hope I would feel able to speak up if I were a witness or victim. Instead, I am contemplating asking that my contributions to Quaker funds be withheld from certain areas. I feel strongly enough that if I had not just accepted a nomination for Agenda Committee, I would consider seeking out a trustee role in one of these institutions.

I wonder if anyone else will do more.
Tags: integrity, truth
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