Ethics Hero: London Terror Attack Witness Richard Angell

Richard Angell, the director of a British Labour Party think tank called Progress,  was dining with friends at the Arabica Bar and Kitchen at London’s  Borough Market when he witnessed Saturday’s terrorist attack on London Bridge, like everyone else, he was focused on the unfolding scene, which he described in detail to Buzzfeed.

Unlike everyone else, Angell returned to the establishment, now closed indefinitely,  on Sunday morning so he could pay his tab and tip the staff.

“I’ve got to pay my bill. Also, we haven’t given the staff a tip and they looked out for us when they should have been helping themselves. It was lovely food and I want the rest of my main course,” he said.

He was displaying exemplary ethics. Yes, perhaps he was grandstanding a bit too: I’m not sure how this came to be publicized. I’m hoping that the restaurant owners reported what was meant to be an example of someone quietly doing the right thing when nobody was insisting on it. In fact, that’s what I’m going to believe what happened. Whatever his motives, Angell did the right thing. He deserves the benefit of the doubt, and I need an Ethics Hero.

20 Comments

Filed under Around the World, Business & Commercial, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Heroes

20 responses to “Ethics Hero: London Terror Attack Witness Richard Angell

  1. dragin_dragon

    In a very real sense, we can never really know for certain what another person’s motivation is because we can never really know what’s going on in their heads. Thus, my suggestion would be that we all do as you have done, Jack, and simply accept the gentleman’s behavior at face value. Besides, he kind of looks like a nice guy.

  2. I’ll accept his explanation unless and until I hear otherwise. We cannot be so cynical (he is a lefty, after all) that we automatically denigrate a genuine ethical act.

  3. In this case, I’m the skeptic.

    I’d like to accept it at face value but I’m personally having a really hard time doing that. The difference between Richard Angell and me is I would not have publicized it. l think he had ulterior motives for returning, most likely in search of his moment in the limelight which he got. Doing the right thing, as it relates to the business and its employees, doesn’t require one to publicize it.

    • From the Sermon on the Mount:

      Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you

      Nice take, Z. Two similar situations, to be sure.

      I still WANT to give this guy the benefit of the doubt (it depends on ‘who blew the trumpet,’ so to speak: he himself, or another)

      • This is not about reward.

        My point is; if there’s another reason driving an ethical action regarding a individual responsibility other than the responsibility itself, such as reward of any kind, then the ethical act is not genuinely ethical, it’s only perceived as such.

        These things are hard to know for sure; however, actions after the perceived ethical action can reveal if the original intent likely had additional motives.

    • But the restaurant owner would have a lot of incentive to call thepress on this 1) It endorses his establishment. 2) Maybe some other customers will pay their bills.

      • Jack Marshall wrote, “But the restaurant owner would have a lot of incentive to call the press on this 1) It endorses his establishment. 2) Maybe some other customers will pay their bills.”

        I have absolutely no problem with the business using Richard Angell actions for the purpose of inspiring additional ethical behavior in others, but unless I missed something that’s not what happened in this case, right?

  4. At the very least, he’s made it a little clearer when you’re supposed to tip in England.

  5. Jack,
    I just noticed something from the BuzzFeed link you provided…

    It said, “Angell, director of the left-leaning think tank Progress, said he would be returning to the restaurant once it reopens. “I’ve got to pay my bill. Also, we haven’t given the staff a tip and they looked out for us when they should have been helping themselves. It was lovely food and I want the rest of my main course.”

    That said he “would be returning…” not that “Angell returned to the establishment… on Sunday morning so he could pay his tab and tip the staff”; which contradicts the title of the article that said “A Man Who Witnessed The London Bridge Attack Went Back To Pay His Restaurant Bill On Sunday”.

    I think that is a difference worth mentioning because it might change your mind about him actually being an ethics hero.

    • Here is why Richard Angell actually returned on Sunday…

      “BuzzFeed News spoke to Richard Angell on Saturday night after the attack. On Sunday he returned to show that “these people shouldn’t win”.”

      Very honorable reason to return on Sunday!

    • Interesting, although if he makes a public commitment and DOESN’T pay his bill, he’ll really be in trouble…

      • Jack Marshall wrote, “if he makes a public commitment and DOESN’T pay his bill, he’ll really be in trouble…”

        I completely agree.

        Whatcha wanna bet when he does go to pay this bill, it will become a publicity stunt.

      • My conscious mind read right over that “would be returning to the restaurant once it reopens” statement, by brain kept repeating what was in the title. I think I preceded to read over that same statement three or four times additional times when rereading it, but my subconscious mind was working overtime, it kept telling me that something wasn’t right.

        I think this is a perfect example of how titles can skew the readers mind to read what it want’s to read.

        • Mrs. Q

          Are you talking about the different tenses between the title:
          “A Man Who Witnessed The London Bridge Attack Went Back To Pay His Restaurant Bill On Sunday”

          And this part of the sentence:
          “…would be returning to the restaurant once it reopens”

          The title makes it sound like the guy has already paid his (heroic act) bill, while in a later sentence he says he will pay, just when the place opens again. Contradiction.

          Or were you referring to something else?

          • Mrs. Q,
            Yes, that’s the main contradiction I was talking about, which is what I think Jack based his Ethics Hero on; however, the article also states, “On Sunday he returned to show that “these people shouldn’t win” which also contradicts the title. Two things about the title were completely false if you think what the article states is the truth; I think the title was intentionally false to hook readers. This is a problem that’s been talked about many times.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s