Skip to main content

Up to ankles in water does PM no good.

It appears from the opinion polls that the prime minister has misjudged the handling of the floods. All that donning of Wellington boots wading around and looking serious has done little to assuage the mood that too little has been done too late.

I usually find it silly that politicians have to be 'seen to be doing something'. This is why they end up paddling in water and 'coming to see' for themselves the enormity of it all when in truth it provides little they couldn't already understand. Being 'seen' in a crisis is all important. Being 'seen' to be indifferent to people's suffering is highly damaging.

Curiously Miliband's paddling and being 'seen' has been more effective than Cameron's. Voter's minds tend to be made rather early and Cameron was fighting a losing battle with public perception. He just looked like a man out of his depth.

All this is probably distinctly unfair. But it is the nature of politics. I  am sure the Prime Minister handles things with skill when he chairs Cobra meetings.

Chairing cobra meetings has also become a feature of being 'seen' to do something. Taking charge. Politicians have to be  'seen to take charge' or as it is so often said 'get a grip'. It is a euphemism that is most often used when politicians have little 'grip' to grip with. Events take more control than any politician could do.

Politicians are slaves to events, and the biggest 'event' is environmental change and certainly the weather. I would put my money on the weather winning. Politicians cannot control the rain and wind - at least not yet. Maybe some bright spark in a Cobra meeting is suggesting this be done.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ian Duncan-Smith says he wants to make those on benefits 'better people'!

By any account, the government's austerity strategy is utilitarian. It justifies its approach by the presumed potential ends. It's objective is to cut the deficit, but it has also adopted another objective which is specifically targeted. It seeks to drive people off benefits and 'back to work'.  The two together are toxic to the poorest in society. Those least able to cope are the most affected by the cuts in benefits and the loss of services. It is the coupling of these two strategic aims that make their policies ethically questionable. For, by combining the two, slashing the value of benefits to make budget savings while also changing the benefits system, the highest burden falls on a specific group, those dependent on benefits. For the greater good of the majority, a minority group, those on benefits, are being sacrificed; sacrificed on the altar of austerity. And they are being sacrificed in part so that others may be spared. Utilitarian ethics considers the ba

Keir Starmer has a lot to offer

The Labour Party is in the process of making a decision that will decide whether it can recover from the defeat in 2019 General Election.  All the candidates have much to offer and are making their case well. No doubt for some the decision will be difficult.  Others may well have made up their minds on the simple binary of Left-wing-Right-wing. The choice should be whoever is best placed to pull the party together.  Someone who can form a front bench of all talents and across the spectrum in the party. That is what Harold Wilson did in the 1960s.  His government included Roy Jenkins on the right and Barbar Castle on the left; it included Crossman and Crossland, and Tony Benn with Jim Callaghan.  It presented a formidable team. Keir Starmer brings to the top table a formidable career outside politics, having been a human rights lawyer and then Director of Public Prosecutions.   He is a man of integrity and commitment who believes in a fairer society where opportunities are more

The lion and the wildebeest

Birds flock, fish school, bees swarm, but social being is more than simply sticking together.  Social groups enable specialisation and a sharing of abilities, and enhances ability, learning and creating new tricks. The more a group works together, the more effective they become as a team.  Chimpanzees learn from each other how to use stones to crack nuts, or sticks to get termites.  All around us we see cooperation and learning in nature.  Nature is inherently creative.  Pulling together becomes a rallying cry during a crisis.  We have heard it throughout the coronavirus pandemic.  "We are all in this together", a mantra that encourages people to adopt a common strategy. In an era of 'self-interest' and 'survival of the fittest,'  and 'selfish gene', we lose sight of the obvious conclusion from the evidence all around us.   Sticking together is more often the better approach.  This is valid for the lion as it is also for the wildebeest.   We don't