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Amongst the devastation of COVID - it will bring untold lessons and opportunities

We need to find a new way and not lose the often painful lessons of COVID

I had a rugby master at one of my schools, who of course was Welsh, and fond of encouraging his team never to be afraid of tackling, particularly large, charging, fearsome-looking forwards. He would always use the line; "the bigger they are, the harder they fall Boyo" - and it is true, and just as true today as it was then. Sadly, it is a maxim not just for rugby, but enterprise also. All sorts of catastrophes can unexpectedly hit a business, and we see clearly the devastation caused by COVID 19, wreaking havoc amongst so many well-known business brands. For some, who were struggling anyway; the pandemic pushed them over the edge. But others, particularly airlines, cruise-lines and so many businesses involved in the tourist industry, this world-wide disease will seriously knock them or even end their existence. Big names that are familiar to many will cease to exist. Some already have. And unlike other crises, where size is often an aid in surviving, this time around, size can be the killer. Debt and cost escalate so much, and with little or no revenue, even surviving becomes an unsustainable option.  Unlike the "Banking Crises" of 2008/9 when Governments supported Banks, on the principle, that they were "too big to fail" - not so this time around. Governments have assisted individuals and companies through furloughing, cash payments, interest holidays and various schemes to cushion the blow of the virus, but not large individual companies, those companies with massive mounting debt and little prospect of recovery will go to the wall. Furthermore, there has to be a limit to the unprecedented amount of money governments are borrowing. The growing debt mountain is eye-wateringly huge. This is going to affect our over-all wealth for several generations. I don't believe that life will just pick-up where we left off. I do hope not anyway. We have so many opportunities now to make changes in the way we live; how we trade and communicate, how we resource our living standards, how we live our lives. I understand the temptation to revert to the status quo - but we have learnt that would be the wrong thing to do. In order to achieve change, it will take a specific style of leadership. We need leaders with imagination and personal magnetism, self-belief and honesty, men and women who we naturally want to follow. But if we fail to choose these kinds of leaders; if we carry on, always reverting to the default setting of deciding on growth, greed and avarice, we will pretty much doom future generations. So, if it is the only thing you do - encourage and vote for honest and imaginative leadership. We need leaders who are capable of giving some "tough love". The trouble is that most people will not vote for anything that even resembles something that could be unpopular.  Parents administer tough love every day. They will insist their children adhere to some basic rules, like -  getting up in time and going to school, brushing their teeth, doing their homework, addressing their elders with respect etc. None of this necessarily comes naturally and requires some tough love to instil these disciplines to make them habits. And it is much the same with good manners. As the old adage goes - "manners maketh man". Good manners are one of the foundation blocks of civilisation.  We, as the general population, are not much different from children in that regard. We may need some encouragement to change our ways.  COVID 19 has encroached on so many lives, and there will be more yet, from inflicting death to devastating people's way of life. We have an opportunity to take something positive out of this mess. We need to view the world differently, with more respect. We need leaders with the imagination and determination to make this happen. So I implore you; imagine the qualities that you want to see in a leader, then find that person and vote them into office. Rick - Suffolk - UK - 2nd August 2020

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