Yet I couldn’t help think that there was something missing in all the talk of leadership. There were numerous real life and theoretical examples of people ‘doing’ leadership or asking others to show leadership, but I couldn’t help but feel that I was no nearer understanding what Cameron’s definition of leadership is, how it manifests/shows itself and why he thinks the examples that he used demonstrate leadership (as well as what politicians can learn). One of the problems with our body politic at present is that all of those references to leadership could have been sprinkled into the speeches of Ed Miliband or Nick Clegg and none of us would have noticed any different.
- The leaders to take away the problems of our life – be it work, health or relationships. We want it to be “someone else’s problem”; we want the magic government fairy to sort it out. This applies whether you’re a billionaire banker or a poor pensioner
- The leaders to fix things for our benefit, to make rules that favour what we do or that stop those things of which we disapprove. Sometimes this is about economic protection, sometimes it is the projection of a moral position but it is always about fixing things so we benefit.
One of the paradoxes I find is that some of our political institutions and the practices of political parties end up suppressing leadership rather than encouraging and nurturing it.
...the core consideration is the extent to which we are able to live as Greek idiots. Quietly, privately, without bothering our neighbours with our problems – and when such people want change they will get up from their armchairs, walk away from the telly and vote. The idea that not being bothered with voting most of the time makes them bad people is a misplaced idea – they are the good folk.
Above all we should listen quietly to what this “apathy” calls for – it is less bothersome, less interfering, less hectoring and more effective government. Such people want government to be conducted at their level not to be the province of pompous politicians with overblown and lying rhetoric. And they want the language of common sense, freedom, liberty and choice to push away the elitist exclusivity of modern bureaucratic government.