Breaking the Chatham House vow of silence

Lots of ethical debate on the PR blogosphere today. Ellee Seymour is asking if it can ever be right to break the Chatham House rules.

In a quite surreal post Ellee talks about attending a conference on freedom of information, secrecy, truth, lies and political spin – only to find out it was under the secrecy of Chatham House rules.

It turns out one speaker – Sir Jeremy Greenstock – had only agreed to attend if it was held under Chatham House rules as he was “concerned about the way his comments would be interpreted”.

I don’t think it has worked for him. My interpretation towards Greenstock is entirely negative, while my respect for the other speakers increases as they have confidence in their opinions and aren’t afraid of being challenged and forced to defend them. Unlike Sir Jeremy Greenstock who has so little confidence in his position that he is afraid to expose it to potential attack.


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Stuart Bruce

International Public Relations Adviser | Trainer | Author | Media Commentator | Conference Speaker | University Lecturer | Online PR | Digital Corporate Communications | Crisis Communications | Digital Public Affairs