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Three cheers for secrets
April 14, 2014

I had reason to think about what transparency might mean with a client who felt exactly this through much of her childhood. It is an especially interesting idea right now as transparency has become one of the unquestioning mantras of public life – that if we open up the NHS, civil service, MPs finances (you name your own favourite here) – then all will be well. However only a moment’s consideration will suggest that the opposite will be the case.

For we are talking of a fundamental human requirement for privacy. And what is privacy? I would contend that what privacy is about is to have the space and time to process and learn and discover of yourself. This must be done in safety and away from prying eyes and commentary. And for a young person to see herself as completely transparent and open means that it can be impossible to discover who you are and be confident and assured about what you have discovered.

And what is true of a young person, will be true of all of us and of course of institutions as well. And an element of privacy is to have secrets. So let's hear it for secrets.

best wishes

Andrew Richardson
94 Malford Grove, London E18 2DQ

Direct Line: 0208 257 0429 Mobile: 07870 104651 Skype: famrichhg

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