Sunday, February 07, 2010

Why don't they resign?

I’m not perfect – far from it. I have my faults and I’ve made many mistakes in my life.

So having got that off my chest I’m not pretending for even one nanosecond that the world should be seen through rose tinted spectacles as a place where everyone will always be perfect.

BUT ……

Something has change during my adulthood. When I was a youngster and started to get interested in politics and the like I distinctly remember politicians in particular would resign as a matter of principle when they were caught out. Either in some question of their personal integrity or if they considered they had brought shame on the respected public position they held.

Nowadays – indeed for the last few years – high profile people who have been caught out, just ‘stay there’ trying to ‘stick it out’ presumably hoping the furore will die down so they can carry on in their position as if nothing has happened.

I am either just old fashioned or maybe I’m turning into a ‘Victor Meldrew’ grumpy old man. I am still hoping to see some high profile person just come in front of the TV camera without some highly paid PR or Communications Guru beside them and just honestly admit they made a massive mistake that gives them no alternative but to stand down because their personal integrity has been seriously damaged.

This is not restricted to politics – it applies in the world of big business and sport.

So thank you Mr Capello for showing real leadership in your decision to sack John Terry.

Clearly Mr Terry could see nothing wrong in his off the field activities and how they completely undermined his exalted position as England Football Captain.

In some ways I’m disappointed (but then again not surprised) that Mr Terry had to stick around until he was sacked and I am absolutely sure Mr Capello has made a 100% correct decision.

Now …..If only we had more leaders like Mr Capello in politics and business!


JOHN O'LEARY said...

Wish I had the background to intelligently respond, Trevor. Maybe you should give us foreigners a primer.

On a different subject...the Who performed a great half-time show at the Superbowl just now. They did your country proud. Still Britain's most inspired live band, IMHO.

Mark JF said...

Sorry, Trevor, but there's something deeply inconsistent about your position.

John - Trevor's rant started over at the Tom Peter's site. I countered by asking why he is so pleased that the captain of the England soccer team has been sacked (as captain, not as player) for having an affair with the ex girlfriend of an ex team mate. I went on to point out the well-publicised behaviour of 4 other regular players, including the man who is now captain (banned 8 months for missing a drugs test), the man who many would like to be captain (history with prostitutes) and 2 others with records of public brawling and drunken licentiousness.

I also asked why Trevor could cite George Best as an idol as he was a well known womaniser, gambler and drinker, ultimatley dying from alcoholism.

Trevor: you defended Ferdinand (drugs test) and Rooney (prostitutes), plus Best - who I note are Man Utd players. You didn't defend the other 2, who aren't Man Utd players!

Given some of Ferdinand's other shenanigans (he had himself filmed with 2 other players having sex with a girl oh holiday; he organised the infamous Man Utd Xmas party after which all sorts of sordid stories emerged and there was a complaint of rape) I am very unhappy that this man is
now captain of his country.

Trevor - Mr. Capello hasn't shown real leadership by sacking Terry. He has been pragmatic because several players are very, very unhappy about Terry for a number of reasons, of which this affair is but one, and Mr.Capello needs a settled dressing room. Mr. Capello would show real leadership if, in future, he applies this same standard consistently and without fear or favour. Putting down a marker is a good start but enforcing it is the real test. "Won't Get Fooled Again" might be the appropriate theme song.

BTW - something positive: Sir Clive Woodward (the coach who won the Rugby World Cup) had his squad write their own Code of Ethics about how they would conduct themselves at all times while they were squad members. Note, the players wrote it. New players in the squad were briefed about it. Transgressors (there weren't many) were quietly dropped from the squad.It's notable that after Sir Clive moved on, the Code was dropped and standards fell both on and off the pitch. (You can find a copy of it in in Sir Clive's autobiography. Most of it is still relevant.)

Mark JF said...

Trevor - here's another point. Why are we getting so worked up about some soccer players?

350 of 650 of our Members of Parliament have been required to pay back parts of their expenses claims (albeit some of these repayments are quite trivial). But over 100 MPs have said they won't seek re-election, many of them in the hope of avoiding deeper scrutiny, and 3 MP's are actually facing prosecution with further investigations pending.

Why should a footballer resign if an MP doesn't have to?

One explanation: because in our increasingly litigious and cynical society, resignation is construed as an admission of guilt. Further, as a society we are increasingly more demanding, less discriminating and less able to see shades of grey in between the black and the white. (Over simplification?!) As a result, we seem to have become less understanding, forgiving and compassionate when confronted with other people's problems.

My view: MP's who fiddle their expenses should be fired, prosecuted and barred from public life. A footballer (even the England captain) who cheats on his wife should be allowed to repent and carry on.

My view about John Terry: if you'd said that the accumulation of scandals was such that this latest one became the straw that broke the camel's back, I'd agree. But by and of itself, no.

BTW: what does it say of Mr. Capello's judgement that he appointed someone with such a past as captain anyway?

J.KANNAN said...


They will not resign as you expect but will re-sign, and that’s what’s happening these days in most of the instances.

No body is without fault , rather no body is perfect(Its my personal perspective) and every one owns their share.- Yes if you have to see transparency, you can not see it through the tinted spectacles and its but natural for tainted people to wear tinted spectacles (Sorry I certainly don’t mean all those who wear tinted specs. Pl) to hide their taint behind.- and that’s the world of to-day in business, sports more so and popular in politics as these class of guys would like to establish……………………………………

."What’s not right is always popular, and what's not popular is always right."

These days matters of principles, morality, good conduct and ethics have all gone with the winds and do not expect these things to re-appear in majority amongst politician and by and large amongst business people, sports persons and certain other sectors of the society, who have made up their mind to be painted with taint- and for these class of people “SHAME IS FAME” and what can you and I do about it?

You are absolutely right that the furore will melt down and disappear eventually enabling these guys to continue in power and position to carry on with taints as if nothing wrong has been committed by them. Your hope as indicated in your article will remain a dream not come true, as for them “HONESTY IS THE WORST POLICY”

I shall neither encourage nor appreciate the actions of Capello sacking John Terry, as to me it dose not look like a finer quality of a Fine Leader-This too is my personal perspective. If only Team leaders try and sack team mates from their playing team, one will never be able to form a winning team- As winning is the only thing and key word for a true team leader

An able Leader should be able to get along and carry on with His team with positive outlook, approach and attitude in spite of deficiencies with a member or two of the team and rectify the deficiencies by retaining them in the team and in the case of Capello as a leader did not win the heart of his team member(s).

And lastly if only we had a leader like Capello in politics and business (leave aside sports), ‘am sure that he will also become a part of “house commons” (It has a difference meaning here and ‘am not comparing with UK’s political system).

This opinion is being sent without any prejudice whatsoever.

PS: Pl bear with me for such lengthy opinion.



Trevor Gay said...

John, Mark and JK - Thank you all so much for taking the time in your busy schedules to comment - I really appreciate it.

The greatest joy for me in writing this Blog is the ‘advice’ I get from folks like you.

I’m old enough to remember the days when important people in public life resigned on principle when they were ‘caught out’ …. And that is the thrust of my posting on this.

Mark makes great points about my inconsistencies and I accept that.

JK offers realism and wisdom based on his tremendous experience.

John is always a fabulous pragmatist.

In a nutshell what I crave is for someone, somewhere – anywhere in the world quite frankly in an important position - to simply resign because they have been caught out. Maybe I am just a bit naïve.

Thanks so much for your brilliant comments one and all - you always make me re-think and reconsider my views – and that must be a good thing.

Marilyn Jess, DTM said...

People without integrity depend on us having a short memory. We're so bombarded with news and non-news that we soon forget their transgressions. I say that in a general sense.

I don't let it upset me in most cases. As long as my integrity remains intact, I have a clear conscience. I can understand how you would be upset by this, though.

I always think that transgressions catch up with people, sooner or later. In their lives or their families' lives. JK may call this karma in his culture, and I'd second that. Ghandhi also believed this. That's comforting.

J.KANNAN said...

Hi Marilyn Jess,
Good morning.

An apt comment presented in a crisp and concise manner by you.

You are absolutely right- As long as ones integrity remains in tact, ones conscience will also remain spic and span.

No doubt as you have mentioned about transgression- It can be described as "Karma" and only thing I have to ask and answer my self is.................................

"Is "Good" a good word and "Bad" a bad word?...........................
Both are the net result of one's deed, indeed.

Have a great week ahead Merilyn.



Trevor Gay said...

Thanks again Marilyn and JK.

I guess I am philosophical rather than angry Marilyn.

I agree retaining our own integrity is all that we can do.

I think standards have definitely dropped over the last 30 years or maybe is it that we just hear more about it now?

But as I have said many times I am an avowed pragmatist so I guess I should move on :-)

Good to get it off my chest though!

Mark JF said...

Trevor - here I go, picking an argument again...!

- Have standards really dropped? Or have they just changed: different world, different standards?

There's a lot more transparency today (to the point and beyond of downright intrusion) so it's harder to keep things hidden. And at the same time we've become more aware of things happening, we've become a lot less forgiving of things than we should be.

In the old days a scandal emerged and often, someone resigned. I suspect the main difference is that back then, a whole lot of problems simply didn't emerge and a whole lot of people were left to carry on as a result.

It seems today that our intolerance, impatience and unforgiving attitude means that we seem to think people should resign for anything they need to say "Sorry" about. So the more we demand resignations, the more those in power resist it. We've lost a sense of perspective, methinks.

Trevor Gay said...

Hi Mark – it’s a good argument and actually I agree with you. It is definitely a different world with different standards and mores the pity as far as I can tell. Maybe you are right that in the past our ignorance was our bliss and we just didn't hear as much as we hear now. It just feels to me that I would admire people a whole lot more if they would just admit their wrongdoings and go without the media circus and them defending something they know is indefensible –that’s all I’m asking :-)

Mark JF said...

But you've hit the nail on the head: what's indefensible? And is what was indefensible 20 years ago now more, less or just as indefensible? And is your indefensible more valid than mine or your neighbours or that of someone in Peru or China or Sudan?

Trevor Gay said...

Agreed Mark - perception is everything - we actually agree on more than we disagree I think :-)