The one thing that many people in leadership positions fail to understand is that if they are having to look outside themselves for every answer, they aren’t leading anything at all.
Events have led to reactions by the Police and Politicians which they all believe are examples of good leadership.
Two Metropolitan Police Officers ‘took the knee’ to show they were ‘with the crowd’ a couple of hours before their colleagues were attacked.
Keir Starmer and Angela Raynor provided Twitter with their fully choreographed version on Tuesday afternoon too.
Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees did a grand job of making an Interview with the BBC about the drowning of Edward Colston’s statue all about him, whilst Sadiq Kahn has pretty much picked up the phone and had a Slaver’s Statue in London’s Docklands removed overnight.
Since the weekend itself, Boris has rolled out Home Secretary Priti Patel to talk tough at the Despatch Box whilst he has provided plenty of the baffoonal bluster over the topic that he has now become renowned for.
Left or Right, supposedly impartial public servant or politician. What all of these actions share in common is they are not acts of leadership. They are the actions of people in positions of responsibility with a remarkable level of power to do something good, but are instead being led by the mob.
Covid-19, The Lockdown and Social Distancing has taken over life to such an extent since March that the Black Lives Matter protests feel like they have come completely out of left field.
From this point of view, some would argue that these actions are an appropriate response to the public mood. They are not.
As Boris did with the Leave Campaign, with the pre-Covid-19 phase of his Premiership and his response to the Coronavirus Pandemic too, these actions are opportunistic. They are responsive to events and what people are already doing, rather than defining a direction of travel and being used to inspire people to think differently before these supposed leaders then back up the words with action that can really deliver and get things done.
What we are witnessing through the absence of leadership during all the events that seem to be taking over our world is all symptomatic of a systemic rot.
The mealy-mouthed words and platitudes to Black Lives Matter haven’t been constructed with any great thought. These are not the sentiments of people with responsibility who care about the injustices within our own society, let alone any place else. They are about managing the fear that these individuals have for the loss and threat to their own positions, about the safety and reduction of risk to themselves, and in the case of the Politicians about ensuring re-election just as soon as they can.
Police Officers and Politicians are not appointed to demonstrate that they are one with us. They are appointed to show impartiality, integrity and an ability to think beyond us as they go. that will allow normal people to go about and enjoy their normal lives knowing that they are safe and being looked out for in ways of every kind.
We expect the police to watch over us and maintain the interests of the common good.
We expect the Politicians to translate the events that are happening into words and meaning that we all understand, make sense of it and then lead and inspire us to all be better in our relationships with others wherever we can.
We expect public servants of all kinds and at all levels to do the things for us all collectively that we as members of the public simply cannot.
Right now, The Government, The Opposition, Local Politicians and the Police are all failing us and failing the mob that wants to inflict its own form of justice on us all by erasing history as a part of what they do.
Nobody can lead when they are already being led. The people that we have elected to lead us along with those who have been appointed to watch over us are all being led by events.
It is the crowd and the media that sensationalises their actions that is leading our leaders today.
Those who are leading our leaders are being led not by any form of experience or logic. They are being led by emotions and responses to the events of a cruel world that with the right leaders in power for the right reasons, they should and would never have to try to understand.
The lack of leadership that is the result of a broken political system has just about circled itself once more. It’s anyone’s guess what will happen when all of this hits the floor.