Friday, May 29, 2009

No leadership - our country is sailing with no captain

The incredible continuing revelations about our Members of Parliament and the abuse of their expenses is making me think the whole political structure of Britain is in serious danger of being destroyed. At the moment it feels to me like that destruction cannot come soon enough.

The current party system is in total disarray. After all, why would anyone choose to vote for any of the three major parties when all three of them have been tarnished?

The three major parties are equally guilty.

I heard tonight on BBC Newsnight that as many as 100 MP’s may be forced to resign and that could be an under-estimate in the opinion of some political experts.

I suspect we are living through an historic seismic shift in the political structure in Britain.

We don’t need tampering at the edges; we don’t need committees to think about this for two years before they report. We need a complete purge of the current system together with the people responsible.

We cannot allow shifting of the deck chairs on the Titanic.

This is serious - far more serious than any political scandal in my lifetime. The more I hear, the more serious it becomes.

Leadership is conspicuous by its complete absence from anyone in politics in this scandal and that tells me more than anything.


Scott Peters said...


I was looking through some of my past management performances and came across a gem. A gem that was given to me by a direct report and summed up how she felt about current leadership and management in the company:

the willing, led by the
unknowing are doing
the impossible for the

We have done so much
for so long, with so little,
we are now qualified to do
anything with

The political landscapes of both our countries are in turmoil and who knows what the outcome may be. Governments have obviously positioned themselves well to last long-term because of dependency issues.

What I find to be humorous and depressing at the same time is that the American government is critical of American companies that have been terribly mismanaged. In light of the fact that the US government is in serious debt that's growing faster daily, they (politicians) preach from their lecturns about scandal and corruption. Then they commit trillions of dollars to bailing out big corporations, under the pretense that these moves somehow help me as an American.

I'm not only worried about what our children will inherit, but what our current policy and lack of accountability is teaching them.

Trevor Gay said...

Scott – I love the words – I will steal that and use it my friend!

I share your concern about what messages our politicians are giving to our children.

The only good thing I can see coming from this scandal is that it has woken up we, the public, to make our voices heard and apathy will hopefully be overcome about our political process.

People are really angry about this scandal – no one trusts politicians any more. This is dreadful in the short term but in the long term the clean up has to start somewhere and why not now.

I cannot see the current ‘party system’ surviving as the question everyone is asking:

Who the hell do we vote for?

I actually have a lot of faith in our young people – they will not be as stupid as the current politicians.

Dan Gunter said...


I know that little saying by heart. It's actually one of my all-time favorites. And there is another one -- a little poem, actually -- that well sums up how a lot of people feel about their companies and management. It goes thusly:

It's not my place to drive the train.
The whistle I can't blow.
It's not my place to say how far
the train's allowed to go.
It's not my place to blow off steam,
Nor even clang the bell.
But let the damn thing jump the track
And see who catches hell.

Trevor Gay said...

Another gem Dan - thanks for sharing it.

mark jf said...

Prime Minister Brown was on the TV yesterday explaining how parliamentary reform has always been top of his list and how he "rules nothing out" in a proposed review of our system. It's just that he hasn't actually DONE anything about it in the last 13 years in power.

This is the same man that foresaw the credit crunch and claims to have privately warned all sorts of people... while doing nothing about it.

This is the leader of the party that promised constitutional reform 15 years ago and has simply given us a fudged Scottish and Welsh arrangement and the contentious "West Lothian Problem" (MP's being allowed to vote on matters that don't affect their constituencies).

This is the leader of the party that promised a vote on the Lisbon Treaty (1 European super-state) and decided after the election that it was too complicated for us poor voters to give a meaningful decision on.

We are lead by a man who is intellectually brilliant and probably well-motivated. But the bald facts are that he is unsuitable, a poor leader, a poor communicator, patently out of his depth and unable to even keep up with events, far less influence them and never able to shape them.

If I had to prioritise just 1 reform, I wish we had a right of recall against any MP.

Mike said...

The fact that you know about this scandal, can voice your anger about it, and can "throw the bums out" means that your SYSTEM is actually working quite well. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water! That's what happened to us in the U.S. (yes, I know you were a big Barry O. supporter, but don't feel bad, a lot of intelligent folks were swindled by Mr. "hope & change.") and we have elected a president who wants to be King Barry I and a willing congress to back his sorry ass up. Let your system do it's thing and don't over-react.

Trevor Gay said...

Mark - Sadly I have to agree with you about Mr Brown. I admit I have had to change my opinion. I watched Mr Brown on Andrew Marr show and I was extremely disappointed. There was no leadership at all. There was a lot of evasion and subject changing – very disappointing. My voting habit of a lifetime is about to change – I will vote in future for the candidate that appears closest to my own view of things rather than my previous party based vote!

Trevor Gay said...

Hi Mike – I am pleased that the Freedom of Information Act was passed by this government which allows us to see information like MP’s expenses. There were/still are many critics by right wing folks about the introduction of such legislation – they call it evidence of a ‘nanny state.’ Thank God for it I say. I am not convinced we can kick people out but who knows – the power of ordinary people is immense when they are moved to do something positive.

Sorry to hear about your disappointment in the President’s performance so far but it is still early days. He appears to offer much more hope than his predecessor surely.

Dan Gunter said...

I reached the same conclusion in voting preference a long time ago. Our family was largely a "Straight ticket" Democratic party household. But I didn't agree with the "Yellow Dog Democrat" voting philosophy (voting for a Democratic Party candidate even if he's a yellow dog -- in case that's not a familiar term on Trevor's side of the pond.)

I have even voted for some Independents (although they never win) over the years. I'm with you, Trevor. Vote for the individual -- not the party. In fact, that usually the only way any "party reform" ever really happens.

Trevor Gay said...

The way I'm feeling Dan it will be 'independent' for me as all 3 main parties are tarnished with this expenses scandal as far as I can see.

Why would I want to vote for a party that has endorsed this abusive expenses system - they are all guilty by association.

mark jf said...

Trevor - let's assume you voted for your current MP at the last election and he has an unblemished record regarding his expenses. Is it fair and/or constructive to change your vote out of disillusionment at Parliament? It's individuals who have abused the system, not parties. (Having said that, I'd agree that how the parties have reacted to the scandal is a factor in deciding how to vote.)

Mike - the problem with our system is that whilst we have at last been able to find out about this abuse, there is little we can do about it until the next election.

Trevor Gay said...

Good point Mark. I might be over reacting. I will continue to contemplate.

I heard a political journalist over the weekend saying that ALL members of parliament knew of these abuses even if they didn't do anything wrong themselves. He suggested anyone MP aware of the abuse of public money and not doing anything about it is as guilty as any person abusing the system. That may be an over reaction and as I said earlier perhaps my own is an over reaction. I just personally feel all 3 main parties are tarnished beyond recovery.

Actually I quite fancy voting for some independent person to register my disapproval of the three main parties and our current corrupt system.

Lets face it all three parties are so close and so full of ‘sameness’ they hardly have differentials these days.

Thanks for continuing to make me think!

J.KANNAN said...

Sorry I got caught up with Doctors & hospital, hence delayed response.


I really got disheartened to note the events that are politically happening at your end. What’s the permanent solution for this and to prevent such happenings? As the captains of the ships are very well trained before they are allowed to navigate the ship, right from the scratch i.e. from grass root level, political heads, their allies and associates too need to be well trained before placing them to their chair of power, under vigil of the people of the country and its extremely sad to note that UK is sailing without a good captain and his team, ‘am afraid sooner than later they will sink and people will realize then.. Party heads and those connected within them if found guilty in their conduct and behavior should be severely punished and should not be allowed to enter politics for ever., and this can be achieved only with the united efforts and co-operation of the people by revamping and restructuring the present system for good with experts in place to carry out the task- I mean the Real Leaders.. As of now it looks like to me:


1. Dear Scott…… I have read your observations after assimilating everything, will reply to your last para (prime para).. Its good that there is nothing to inherit from the present rulers as such.. Parents can inculcate good values and ethical practice and conduct to their children. Accountability and policies are at a total loss and not in lack and as such nothing to teach and nothing to learn from the present administrators and rulers-parents/grand parents seems to be the only source to do all these for children- It reminds me of great saying:-

“If only every one sweeps and cleans his own home door step and home surroundings clean, the whole world will remain clean.”

2. Dear Trevor…………You are 100% right and continue to maintain the same spirit and faith with youngsters and they will deliver the result they only can deliver the result for good and they only will throw out the present dirty and clumsy politicians out from their chairs.

3. Dear Dan……………….. Yes Dan a short but very good and useful poem indeed- The Hell will be caught by the innocent ones due to the inefficiency of the management.

4. Dear Mark……………..You have to wit until “Brown” becomes “Black” either naturally or artificially……..that’s all I would say for the time being.. Brown’s reforms are only listed on paper and not acted upon and he will use the same paper to replace tissue paper’s for his use……..I am indeed sorry for my words having not learned to keep things in heart and mind.- Gordon Brown- He should have realized that there is divinity in his name “GOD IS ON in BROWN” to work neat and clean for the people of Britain- but he failed so nothing wrong in calling him “A good for nothing Clown”.

What he has not done in 13 years, Can you expect him to do in 13 incarnations????Never, Never. If I ever happened to Meet Brown (very remote possibilities) I would boldly say to him “ G A G L “means” Go & get Lost”. If I have his e mail add, I as an Indian National shall dare to send him a mail conveying these views. In the interest of my British lovely friends.

Dear Mike……….Very good expression. Wow….Don’t throw the baby out with bath water…….then wipe it with a Terry Towel, give make-up and dress nicely and then throw!!!!!!!!!!!. Don’t let the President and his team know about it- will end up in more scandals. Already the president is being baked ass up and that’d enough. May be one thing that is left to US people is to wait for 4 long years, think and see what best they can do for themselves.

Any country’s fate is in the hands of its rulers who are capable of and having true and sincere intention towards good civil governance. With ethical practice and conduct.


Trevor Gay said...

JK - what can I say other than terrific!

I do indeed have great faith in young people. It was said to me recently;

"Young people may only be 14% of our population but they are 100% of our future"

We need to set a good example to them otherwise what role models do they have?

This I why I am angry about the example our politicians are providing.