Irish Examiner View: Lest we forget - Ethics are a foil for chaos

Irish Examiner View: Lest we forget - Ethics are a foil for chaos

Threat becomes chaos when social and ethical norms are abandoned. 

That simple equation applies particularly to business, especially as business decisions can have a huge impact on the lives of those who rely on how they discharge their obligations, how they choose to treat others less powerful than themselves.

In the case of JD Wetherspoon — 900 bars and 43,000 employees — that truth rings all too loudly. 

Founded in 1979 by Tim Martin, the chain has said it will not pay its British or Irish suppliers until pubs reopen after the pandemic. 

Should every business adopt this devil-take-the-hindmost policy then threat would indeed become chaos. The economic legacy of the pandemic would be far more challenging than it need be. 

Martin, a proud and very generous supporter of Brexit, knows this but his behaviour suggests a toxic indifference.

Other businesses, hopefully not too many, may adopt a similar position. 

As Martin predicts, the pandemic will pass but the sour taste his contempt provokes will linger.

Lest we forget, as he might say.

    Useful information
  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;
  • GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.
  • ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024

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