Why is honesty so hard to do?

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Two apparently unassociated issues struck chords with me this morning. This first was this report from the Guardian:

Many car brands emit more pollution than Volkswagen, [a] report finds: Diesel cars by Fiat, Suzuki and Renault among makers emitting up to fifteen times European standard for nitrogen oxide

The second was another Guardian report headed:

Bradley Wiggins faces a fight for his reputation in wake of Wada hack

What do they have in common? A suspicion that something less than the whole truth has been told. It was always going to be a surprise if VW were alone in having problems with diesel emissions: if the standards were hard to achieve it was odd that only one company failed. And it is also odd on initial reading, I admit (although I suspect there may be a perfectly good explanation) that so many top cyclists have asthma.

Neither story says there is wrong doing. Both say more could have been said, which is the point I am making. Saying just enough, or saying nothing when positive assurance could lay matters to rest, is usually a mistake and yet time and again people make it.

I put this in the context of a discussion over the weekend where a male friend noted that as far as he could see what every women wanted online was someone who was honest. He thought it should be made a default option in dating profiles as a result to save the time of having to write it. I pointed out it may be bitter experience that made this a priority. It certainly is with those demanding transparency of the business community.