I am rapidly approaching the wrong end of my forties. I have followed the news and current affairs for as long as I can remember, so that is more than 30 years. I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that I have never seen the UK and the world in as big a mess as it is now.
It’s nobody’s fault in particular, lots of different people, groups of people and events have contributed both deliberately and accidentally. I dread what I will read each time I check the news. Flags in the UK seem to be at permanent half-mast. We cannot go on like this.
I don’t claim to have the answers. But here is the thing. I don’t think anybody or any group has all the answers with certainty. I think lots of people have lots of good ideas, some of which will work, some which won’t. But what we have right now is certainly not working. People are losing what little confidence they had left in our leaders and where we are heading. We are certainly fed up of lies and cover ups.
I am not arguing for or against any party or person. What we need is a total change of attitude and approach.
What we need is proper leadership. Despite the claims of many these days, including my employer, not everyone is a leader. I know that I am not and I don’t want to be. I will certainly return to this theme again soon.
For me, a key characteristic of a good leader is to admit when things have gone wrong and to change course. I admire the very few football managers who will make a substitution very early in the game because the team they have picked clearly isn’t working. Yet our national leaders seem so often to be incapable of ever admitting a mistake. We all make mistakes, it is nothing to be ashamed of, it is not weak to admit it. What is wrong and can be deeply damaging is to persevere with a course of action that is clearly wrong because you are more concerned about your image or reputation.
So the leaders I would like to see would be prepared to try new ways of doing things but to admit quickly when they are not working and make changes, either tweaks or trying something else entirely according to circumstances. Nobody has all the right answers, but we will only find out what the right answers are by trying something different.
The human race has got to where it is today by being able to adapt and learn from changing circumstances. But now we seem to have stopped doing that, or at least our leaders have. Many of the people are ready for change, that is why anti-establishment candidates and policies are getting so many votes.
We need change, we cannot go on as we are. Our leaders need to step up to the challenge, listen to the people they represent and be prepared to change course when required. If nothing changes soon, I fear for our country and our world. Something has got to give.