Sunday, November 19, 2023

A leader on leadership

 Starmer’s reaction to 8 members of his shadow government of capitalism resigning and a quarter of his MPs voting, against his advice, for a ceasefire (he wants the killings and destruction to continue) was;

“Leadership is about doing the right thing. That is the least the public deserves. And the least that leadership demands.”

But what on Earth does that mean? It has a certain rhetorical flourish but has sinister implications.

Everybody, not just leaders, should of course do the “right thing”. But who decides what is the right thing? Starmer, as a Leader, naturally thinks that a leader should and that this is what the public “deserves”. In other words, he considers that “the public” are incapable of deciding this but only leaders are; that they require leaders to tell them what is right. What arrogance!

It might be slightly less bad if he personally didn’t change his mind so often about what is the “right thing”. At one time he thought Corbyn was and that certain leftwing reform such as ending charity status for private schools were. Now he doesn’t. Even on Gaza he has changed his mind. Initially he thought it was the right thing that Israel should cut off water, fuel and electricity to Gaza. Then he said (but probably doesn’t believe) that it was the wrong thing.

The lesson of all this? We don’t need leaders to tell us what is right. In fact we don’t need leaders at all. Don’t follow them, just tell them to get lost. It’s the least leaders deserve and the least the public should demand.

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