23 September 2004
John Blundell's letter to The Times on Ethical Trading
THE idea of business as “the new social police” is intriguing (Case study: ethical behaviour, Sept 16). But why new? Capitalism has always encouraged ethical behaviour by rewarding fair and honest dealing. Any business that wants to prosper long term must build a reputation for probity and ethical behaviour — few would visit a drunken accountant. When a restaurant ripped me off I not only stopped visiting it but also rubbished it in the visitors’ book at my holiday rental. A business that leaves many customers dissatisfied won’t stay in business for long. Unlike politics we vote several times a day in the market as we decide with whom we trade and with whom we do not. Good ethical behaviour has always been good business.