I was sitting in bed drinking a mug of tea when I heard that Ronald Biggs had died. They played a recording of him speaking about the great train robbery and his life. He showed no sense of being a bad person or doing illegal things. It is alleged that he started his criminal career by looting the houses of bomb victims in London during the WW2. During the great train robbery the driver was beaten up and never worked again. Biggs could see nothing wrong in whatever he did.
This made me think about the way in which many people hide any feelings of doing bad things by some justification. Many people never feel that any of their actions are illegal or morally wrong. This can even apply to leaders of countries and businesses. We only have to look at the way in which Stalin thought he was helping the Russian people. I suspect the North Korean leadership feel the same. Then there are bankers. They show no signs of thinking that they were wrong in the excesses that caused the great crash. Most do not seem to have learnt any lessons from their past actions by the way they are acting at present.
All of this reminded me that I have written about this in a novel called An Ordinary Life. It is about the way people ignore their consciences and justify their actions as good. In the novel, Tom is an academic. He makes love to his students, allows his brother to invest his money in dubious schemes even though they both support left wing causes and gives advice to the Mr Big criminal on setting up legitimate business. All this comes to a head when Tom first has to sanction one of his staff for not only making love to a student but enhancing her marks for an exam. Then his friend is shot and Tom has to decide if he will help in the revenge of the criminal gang.
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