Monday, 8 August 2011

Let them have their holidays...

What’s the problem with holidays? Or rather with politicians taking holidays?

OK so there’s image of the politician lying in the sunshine, bottle of San Miguel in one hand, trashy crime novel in the other while markets tumble, riots unfold and the self-righteous (who of course never ever take a holiday) take to the airwaves to score cheap political points about such indulgence.

I know also that politicians are superhuman beings who can stay up all night, work at least seven days each week and remain alert, relaxed and attentive enough to make decisions of great moment whenever called upon to do so. In some cases decisions that amount to life or death.

Clearly such paragons of our workaholic age don’t need a holiday do they? And if they do dare to take a break, to slip away for a day or three, those self-righteous immediately look for the opportunity to call for the paragon to be dragged back from the little break so as to attend to some momentous happening.

Yet these same self-important folk would be the first to complain if their bosses told them they couldn’t have the essential two-week break over Christmas or rang them up with questions and queries every five minutes – interrupting the recharging of batteries at that nice tapas bar on the banks of the Betis in Sevilla.

We’re in a pretty sorry state if we can’t cope for a fortnight without our leaders. And what exactly are these leaders going to do when we’ve shamed them into coming home early from holiday? Hold a meeting. That’s all they’ll do. Or maybe three or four meetings (often dubbed “summits” but that’s just an effort to make a meeting sound useful or important). And those meetings will finish with a press conference where the leader will make reassuring noises that change precisely nothing.

Let them have their holidays.


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