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My family works in the markets here in Ulster and I tend to help out during the holidays. Recently, I was coming back home from a market in Fermanagh with my aunt and uncle when the conversation somehow turned to corruption. Maybe I'm just extremely naive, but I was horrified by their cynicism! They seem to think that everything is totally corrupt; the police, the law, the taxation system, just about anything. This really shocked me, I'm still idealistic and believe in our country. Their vehemence against taxes was almost palpable. I tried to argue that taxes are necessary to run the country – the NHS, the education system, the social security system and and everything else that we hold dear as part of civilisation and our nation, but they were having none of it.

Please mail me Mailto and tell me that I'm not insane or naive; is the adage true and does power always corrupt or is there still honour and justice in the people running the country? Okay, there have been several scandals in public office in both Britain and elsewhere but overall, I believe, the system of justice and law is an essential part of civilisation. Maybe I will think differently when I have to earn a living myself and need every penny that I can get, but to be honest, I really hope not. I cherish my attitude and my beliefs and hope that they won't be forced to change just because of financial circumstances.

  – June 1998