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Eddie Mair | 16:44 UK time, Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Who can you trust?

Who do YOU trust?


  • 1. At 5:58pm on 23 Feb 2010, jane wrote:

    why not invite a helpline to talk to this issue. Christine has by her actions smeared all of us. She has blatently breached confidentiality, it would more useful, and to the point, to examine why other helplines would NOT have taken this action, and indeed see such actions as reprehensible.

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  • 2. At 6:00pm on 23 Feb 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    How many people have died because the police have divulged information that they shouldn't have?



    How does the police divulging information which Brown's response to the number 10 e-petition on ID Cards?


    So we pay for an ID Card to try to reduce ID theft, whilst the DVLA and Land Registry make money from selling our information?

    How much of the information supplied by the DVLA and the Land Registry facilitate crime?

    So the result of Radio 4's File on Four programme on people using the Land Registry records to remortgage properties they don't own is that the Land Registry wants us to keep them informed of our details? Why not just use the Scottish system where that type of crime doesn't happen as they don't divulge the information?

    We really need some MPs and Ministers that understand computers and data.

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  • 3. At 6:01pm on 23 Feb 2010, Galahad wrote:

    I thought the doctor glossed over the "gaps" in relation to patient confidentiality a little - reportable diseases, child protection issues and court orders will all trump an individual patient's right to confidentiality.

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  • 4. At 6:04pm on 23 Feb 2010, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:

    Only you, Eddie

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  • 5. At 6:09pm on 23 Feb 2010, Peter_on_Sax wrote:

    I don't trust the government; I don't trust the BBC. I would never trust a priest and I can't trust my doctor. I don't trust my tax adviser and I can't trust the police.

    Eddie, the only ones I trust are you and me - and I'm not too sure about you.

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  • 6. At 6:19pm on 23 Feb 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 7. At 6:24pm on 23 Feb 2010, Peter_on_Sax wrote:

    I don't trust PM to print comment with which they disagree!

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  • 8. At 6:30pm on 23 Feb 2010, Loglady wrote:

    I would only trust my doctor or religious minister now.
    I confided in a social worker who distorted and passed on what I had said to another family member.

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  • 9. At 6:52pm on 23 Feb 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    I don't trust this government, or trust the police to implement legislation properly:


    Who should we trust to give us back our Country and dismantle New Labour's Control Freak Land?

    When Brown lied over the Lisbon Treaty refendum why should I trust him exactly?

    Fool me once........

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  • 10. At 6:58pm on 23 Feb 2010, Peter_on_Sax wrote:

    I trust Christine Pratt.

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  • 11. At 7:10pm on 23 Feb 2010, gullwingracer wrote:

    the point here is not confidentiality- the media as usual have missed the point--Mrs Pratt has not identified the complainers- neither has Mr Rawnsley who first raised this issue- she only questioned the code of conduct as to dealing with this, ie a set of rules put in place by the PM himself- as I understand it, her point that was the proper way to deal with bullying, or alleged bullying is for the boss of said outfit not to deny it, but to investigate it- which sadly the PM did not do--- he choose to ignore his own code, and even worse, deny- this is the issue--and anyway, the original charge was not that the PM himself did the bullying, just that the office of No 10 did -- it could have been done by anyone in that office- no confidentiality has been breached. Lets try to keep the original question in view, rather than go off at a tangent, for some cheap political advantage- the PM and his sidekick, Lord PM should maybe take note. But as usual, Lord PM is a master of the art---

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  • 12. At 7:21pm on 23 Feb 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:


    I don't trust governments to be able to use our data to protect us. It's just an excuse to monitor all of us?

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  • 13. At 7:29pm on 23 Feb 2010, Ellis P Otter wrote:

    11 - I disagree, the media have got the point. By choosing to go public with confidential sources both of these individuals have now endandangered their sources to the possibility of further investigation and final exposure.

    You don't tempt a wolf pack unless you're willing to feed it.

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  • 14. At 8:26pm on 23 Feb 2010, Dryopithecus wrote:

    I can't confirm this, but I was once reliably informed that you can trust the Samaritans.

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  • 15. At 9:29pm on 23 Feb 2010, Scotch Get wrote:

    I can't trust nobody, but I'm much too scared to be on my own.

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  • 16. At 9:31pm on 23 Feb 2010, Scotch Get wrote:


    That's a Good one.


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  • 17. At 01:10am on 24 Feb 2010, Dryopithecus wrote:

    I'm glad you think so.

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  • 18. At 07:45am on 24 Feb 2010, jane wrote:

    This issue has thrown into question whether ones details are going to be treated, in confidence, by OTHER PHONELINES (not by priests, lawyers etc).

    By revealing details which help identify a user of a service - ie their place and office of work - Christine Pratt has breached the confidentiality of her service users. The question is, is this the reckless behaviour of someone wanting to make a point at the expense of others - or is this behaviour endemic within helplines. Maybe PM would like to examine this latter issue, which I'd suggest is the most pertinent point given that there are thousands and thousands of people daily calling helplines when they are feeling vulnerable.

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  • 19. At 09:31am on 24 Feb 2010, Dryopithecus wrote:


    Is there any legislation controlling the rights & behaviour of people running helplines & other people who may have access to confidential information, and their clients? If there is, it appears to be inadequate.

    Would new legislation help?


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  • 20. At 10:15am on 24 Feb 2010, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:


    • "Would new legislation help?"

    Yes, but mostly that beleaguered and impoverished group known as lawyers.

    Why not also have a "voluntary code of conduct" That should fix it.


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  • 21. At 10:23am on 24 Feb 2010, The Intermittent Horse wrote:

    Mrs Pratt trusts Max Clifford apparently. That should help.

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  • 22. At 10:54am on 24 Feb 2010, Dryopithecus wrote:

    CM @20,

    "Why not also have a "voluntary code of conduct" That should fix it."

    That may help but I think lawyers, doctors and others, particularly those running helplines, need some protection from attack, legal or otherwise, if they fail to report real or potential crimes.

    TTFN, Dry.

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  • 23. At 11:17am on 24 Feb 2010, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:


    • "I think lawyers, doctors and others, particularly those running helplines, need some protection from attack, legal or otherwise, if they fail to report real or potential crimes."

    Perhaps they should be brought under the same umbrella as priests? I thought lawyers already enjoyed a similar 'privilege', but I could be wrong (Shock! Horror!)

    I'm sorry if my cynicism regarding "more legislation" offends, but, on hearing the objections to the possibility of a 'minority' government (e.g. Scotland), 'But they'll not be able to pass any legislation...!', my response, was on the lines of, 'Haven't the last few decades passed more than enough?'

    For millennia, Scotland had no law of tresspass, but now we have a law providing access, and of course limiting the 'right to roam' as a consequence.

    No easy answers.

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  • 24. At 3:47pm on 24 Feb 2010, Amanda Cerasale wrote:

    I sometimes wonder if anyone can't trust one another in this country anymore it makes me feel so sad to say this now but it's true there is no such thing of being nice & trust worthy anymore,

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  • 25. At 4:57pm on 24 Feb 2010, Sindy wrote:

    Amanda - that's not actually true.

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  • 26. At 5:52pm on 24 Feb 2010, davmcn wrote:

    Sid 25, Are you calling Amanda a liar?

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  • 27. At 6:04pm on 24 Feb 2010, chris wrote:

    I listened to the Samaritans representative speaking to Eddie this evening on PM..........I was very annoyed. The Samaritans do not give absolute confidentiality. I am a counsellor who has previously worked for the national health service and so fully understand the limitations of confidentiality. First of all you are bound by the law to divulge to the police any information related to terrorism or child abuse. The main problem I have with the Samaritans has come from my own experience when I went to them in distress due to issues related to abuse of power and duplicity. I was reasured by the samaritan who worked towards developing a climate of trust to allow me to be open and express my problems. How shocked I was at the end to notice a covert surveilance camera in the room, I asked what it was about and was told that we were being monitored by another member of staff. I said that I felt abused by this covert surveilance and that if 'they' had issues about safety they should have either told me the camera was there or had a second member of staff available, I was told my comments would be forwarded. Two months later I visited the Guildford office again and the camera was still there, I was not told of it's prescence but upon asking was told by a 'sheepish' volunteer that yes it was working, yes we were being monitored and no she hadn't heard any mention of any 'issue'. Again Iasked for the comment to be taken forward. Confidentiality? I went in need and yet again came away feeling abused by their lack of integrity.

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  • 28. At 6:45pm on 24 Feb 2010, Nelliemoser wrote:

    I am annoyed that now the BBC news are talking about Christine from the bullying helpline as facing criticism for talking about goings on at no 10.
    That it happens to be no10 is completely irrelevant. What she has done that is so appalling is to have seriously breached the confidentialty and the trust of the users of her helpline.
    She has given identifying details by naming the organistion at all. Thank God she does not work for Womans Aid!!!!
    I am not being an apologist for the government here.
    She should resign forthwith.

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  • 29. At 7:24pm on 24 Feb 2010, scaz wrote:

    write or wrong ? the "patron's"think bullies should get away with if this means a confidance betrayed, to add insult to injury the "Patron's" dont actually do anything but collect credit.the political comment says Brown will get sympathy what about the the victims who looks after them ?

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  • 30. At 11:26am on 25 Feb 2010, pmmolly wrote:

    I wouldn't trust anyone who said 'You can trust me '.

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  • 31. At 11:30am on 25 Feb 2010, Ginger Nutt wrote:

    You can trust me, though.

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  • 32. At 1:07pm on 25 Feb 2010, pmmolly wrote:

    Trust me , I can't .

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  • 33. At 1:09pm on 25 Feb 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    There are plenty you can't trust, Molly!

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  • 34. At 1:51pm on 25 Feb 2010, Ginger Nutt wrote:

    Oh, but you can, m'dear.

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  • 35. At 5:00pm on 25 Feb 2010, Dryopithecus wrote:

    CM @23 wrote "I thought lawyers already enjoyed a similar 'privilege', but I could be wrong", then,
    @27, Chris wrote: "you are bound by the law to divulge to the police any information related to terrorism or child abuse."

    I had heard something of the sort. The problem is in defining the limits of the concepts "information related to"; "terrorism" and "child abuse".

    For example, if, during an interview, a parent asks a councillor (who could be a solicitor, a priest, or a Samaritan), under what circumstances it would be acceptable to smack a child would the councillor be at risk of prosecution if they didn't report this? Would this change if the parent also implied they had smacked their child in the past? Where is the limit of the law? Does anybody know?

    Since Our Beloved (ex) Leader made the "glorification of terrorism" (whatever that means) illegal, the situation in regard to acts of terrorism has become even more ambiguous.


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