Dennis Howlett, who was the man who got me into blogging, has a thoughtful posting on his AccMan blog this morning. Reflecting on Alan Rusbridger's essay on the problems of getting tax stories reported in the media he says:
Goodness knows it does its best in a world dumbed down by sound bites. Alan's essay is testament to that. The harsh reality is that independent experts prepared to do the hard work for the public good are in very, very short supply. If in reading this you're getting bored with my continuing to mention Francine and Richard [Murphy] then that's telling you something about the lack of heroes prepared to put their head above the parapet and use their skills to unpack the real story. And if you're thinking 'What about Woodward and Bernstein?' then remember they had 'Deep Throat' to guide them all the way. You are very unlikely to find those types of character prepared to come forward in the multi-billion dollar tax and audit world.
Collectively and with others like Prem Sikka, we have voices that are increasingly being heard. We may have slightly different agendas but on one thing I am certain we are agreed. The profession is at real risk of being relegated to history as an artefact of a bygone age. It doesn't have to be that way. I've always held the view that professionals have a pivotal role to play in guiding business. Butâ€šÃ„¶the profession has to change. Allowing itself to be bulldozed is not a great starting point.
My hope for 2009 is that the transparency so many of us have been screaming for will finally start to become a meaningful concept in the context of business that has become dangerously opaque. If we see progress on that front, then perhaps it will become much easier to explain what's happening to the public and in so doing, bring attention to matters which affect us all.
I'll second that Dennis.
And I'll also offer my thanks in advance to those with whom I'll share this journey in 2009, noted above or not.