Jersey’s success has in part been attributed to confidentiality – to the fact that its financial institutions are committed to the privacy of the individual and of bodies corporate.
Other international financial centres have had their share of significant breaches of confidentiality – sometimes by individuals within financial institutions and then usually for money. Indeed, sometimes it has become clear that an individual bank employee who has leaked the names and particulars of tax evaders has been bribed to do so by the tax authorities of major nations.
That hasn’t happened (yet) in Jersey. The most Jersey has seen so far is leaks of such information in error – by head offices elsewhere.
How much more serious is WikiLeaks this week. Internet publication of 90,000 secret US intelligence documents about Afghans and the Taleban – with 15,000 such documents more in the wings.
And, wonder of wonders, even serious investigative journalists are questioning the “right” of Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, to decide whether or not to publish the documents. “Who gave Assange the right to judge?” Yes, journalists who have published embarrassing information in the past seem to feel, deep within, that there should be a higher authority who should make the decision – in this case.
How difficult it is to decide whether or not to publish something that exposes an evildoer but might lead to the hurt of an “innocent” person...
But that decision has already been taken – about absolutely everything (see bold above). “Nothing is covered up that shall not be revealed....”
The observant reader will have picked up the key difference with Jesus’ statement. The verb he used is in the future tense. The publication of everything is certain but is future.
Is that the way to go? Instead of asking, “Who gave Assange the right to judge?” should we be saying, “We need, one day, a judge who will judge righteously and judge everything on the basis of total, accurate disclosure of everything.”
But should we look only to the future? What about now? Well, look again at what Jesus said (in bold above).
Paraphrased, Jesus says: “In the here and now you, my disciples, need to beware the leaven (that which permeates the whole and makes palatable the unpalatable dough) of the Pharisees. And that leaven is hypocrisy – is covering with a veneer of good what is totally unpalatable and evil.”
Does that help? Maybe Jersey folk, with a longing for justice and a longing to live in a realm of righteousness, need constantly to beware. Beware the secretly-infiltrating Taleban. Beware covert Afghanistani betrayals. Beware US undisclosed self-seeking global authority. Beware the hidden leaven.
And, on top of that, know that the God of heaven and earth, whose Son is the Lord Jesus Christ, “has fixed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” (The words of Paul AD 55)
This man – the man who spoke the words in bold above – will have access to a better, more comprehensive resource than WikiLeaks. “Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed.”
Not even Richard Syvret’s sin and evil doing will be covered up.......
Yes, I shall be ashamed. But I shall look to a redeemer: this same righteous man, risen from the dead, who calls all men and women to come to him before the books are opened.