I've been thinking quite a bit about trust over the last week. What started me off was the tragic events in Afghanistan just over a week ago, with three of our soldiers killed by a member of the Afghan Police - someone
they could have expected to trust. When our whole approach to ending the conflict there is based on eventually handing back the country into safe hands, how can anyone be sure who can be trusted, in the face of such a betrayal?
It's not the same matter of life or death, but I suspect it's one of the reasons why we all feel so sore about the Barclays scandal - and why we are fearful that there is far more still to be uncovered. When the majority
of us can't begin to understand the complexities of the financial markets, we rely on trust. Think of the wording on American bank-notes: "In God we Trust". When the bankers play at God and our trust is betrayed, it's a bitter pill to swallow.
Then today I read that 1000 victims of strokes die every year because they are unfortunate enough to fall ill at a weekend. Patients are less likely to be given potentially life-saving drugs,
less likely to see a specialist consultant - and less likely to survive. We trust in the quality and standard of care we will receive in our hospitals - how desperately sad for the 1000 people a year whose trust was misplaced, for no better reason
than it was a Saturday, not a Wednesday when they suffered their stroke.
I suppose it's why we cling on to the "good news" stories that emerge in our newspapers, TV and radio. More than
ever these days we need something to celebrate, something to be proud of, some example of the essential goodness of human nature - in which we can trust.