The messy job of leadership
By THE COLOURFUL STATEMENT by a public official that the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) left the BWA in “a mess” that now has to be cleaned up, is an insightful political truth. To me, it captures political events current in the
United Kingdom with what is happening here.
Government everywhere is said to be a continuum. Fair enough, but that can mean that incoming clear thinking and farsighted politicians often have to clean up the mess created by their predecessors.
Now, my heart does not bleed, but if it did, it might bleed for Theresa May, the British Prime Minister who finds herself handling the very messy job of removing, or put another way, “brexiting” Britain from the
European Union (EU).
As a member of David Cameron’s cabinet, she opposed leaving the EU. Yet, when Cameron resigned as
Prime Minister shortly after losing an ill-advised referendum on “staying or leaving”, she became Prime Minister, picking up the messiest political job in recent British history.
At least it was May’s own party that created the mess. So, in a sense, it may be poetic justice that the party which sowed the seed, by holding a needless referendum, now has to clean it up.
But here at home, the brutal truth is that the general economic calamity and the specific Water Authority mess were created under the regime of the DLP. Yet, the continuing nature of government can obscure, for some unthinking few, the harsh truth that at May 24, 2018, this country faced the precipice of economic breakdown and the collapse of the economy.
And so, necessary but unpopular decisions to secure a brexit, which have to be taken there; or to effect austerity- type programmes which have to be taken here, may erode some of the political capital and popularity of the prime ministers, into whose hands leadership has fallen after the ouster of “fault guilty” predecessors.
In every sense, Bill Gates was right. His comment to a group of students that, “Life is not fair. Get used to it” is supremely applicable to politics.
The lesson is that foresight is not possessed by “blinkered politicians who take uncoordinated leaps in the dark”. The irony is that in both instances, the burgeoning mess was there for observation, but there are none so blind as they who do not wish to see.
As far back as 2008, Prime Minister Mia Mottley was warning about disaster up ahead (my words) if