Learning Theory applies to our own behaviour and leads to deep-seated patterns. All too often, we are entirely unaware of them. Ultimately the patterns form the way we develop, they become a habit, how we do things. They influence the person we become. At an individual level, they are influenced by early activities, and how adequately we do or do not confront them. This is the nub of the issue – how clearly do we confront our anxieties, how openly do we share their implications, how frankly are we prepared to debate their consequences?
These behaviour patterns, and ultimately our propensity for cover-up, are not limited to individuals. They are fundamental to how organisations develop. They probably lie behind the determined refusal by the British government to debate openly their motivations and supporting evidence for going to war with Iraq. The Blair suppression of open discussion could serve no useful purpose except to halt a rational review of the quality and use of pre-war intelligence.
Blair’s actions are part of a common political pattern that has gradually eroded public confidence in the western system. The irony is the extent to which we sniff out the duplicity and cover-up and how far the process is counter-productive. Chernobyl
I am no expert on Chernobyl or the nuclear power industry. My purpose in this appendix is simply to quote articles from major national newspapers:
To start with a summary of the Vienna Congress in October 1986, six months after the explosion took place. The articles are astonishing for the extent of the cover-up and denial they portray at all levels. International, national and local governments, banks and bureaucracies and also individuals are involved. Nor is the cover-up limited to Russia, as the most recent article (The Sunday Times, March 2005) covering the incidents at Dounreay demonstrates.