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Borris Johnson's Government absent leadership

Our "out of control" Home Secretary.

Secretary of State for the Home Office is a most senior and challenging role. It is a huge job, requiring an intelligence and multitasking ability that is beyond most people.

Priti Patel has so far demonstrated her inability to listen or take advice.

There is nothing wrong with changing direction and implementing a new Government policy - it is the way you do it. Shouting four-letter expletives at seasoned Civil Servants is not helpful.

Mrs Patel's language is combative when she is talking in public. It appears to be an act - as if she feels she has to say things that she thinks far-right conservative supporters want to hear. But so far her ideas are unimaginative and draconian. So far, Mrs Patel has clearly demonstrated that she is anything but a safe pair of hands, and heading up the Home Office is beyond her capabilities. She has already managed to lose the trust of her closest Civil Servants.

Prime Ministers and Ministers have to be Leaders.

Many hundreds of households and families have had their lives devastated by the recent flooding brought on by unprecedented rainfall. Our Royal Family naturally stepped up to the plate as they so often do and visited some severely affected areas. They thanked the responders and sympathised with the afflicted.

Royalist or Republican, this human interaction really does, on a human level, make a difference to peoples lives. They have been noticed, and their pain and suffering have been acknowledged. It makes a difference, and people feel less forgotten.

It took weeks after the first floods until our esteemed Minister for the Environment, George Eustice, apparently under some pressure, decided to visit the affected areas. And as of writing this, our Prime Minister still has not moved himself to travel to see the floods first hand for himself.

And yesterday, March 2nd was the first time that Boris Johnson decided that the Coronavirus was sufficiently important enough for him to spend his valuable time getting involved by chairing a "Cobra" meeting himself.

You see, it goes with the job. Leaders need to be seen, not just heard in sound bites. Leaders need to "Lead." It is all very well to have the blustering bravado that is Johnson's default response when questioned. The charm of shaggy hair, the swaggering smile and throwing some confusion into his reply to do his best to befuddle his way to an answer.

There are all kinds of different styles of leadership, and while some forms may be preferred or are more conventional, we should entirely accept that we are all different and will have different ways of responding. But there will always come times when leaders really need to step up and lead.  The people don't want comedians or humour - they want leadership - solid, natural and strong leadership. Leaders who give direction, paint a vision, show determination and exude confidence - they Lead.

Coronavirus cannot be laid at Borris Johnson's door; it was not his fault. But how he responds is entirely down to him and he has not started well. In times of calamity and impending disaster, leaders need to show themselves, roll up their sleeves and be seen, be involved and demonstrate they are in control, not hide in number 10 Downing Street.

Borris Johnson has many problems, some of his own making, some out of "left field".

Often, life is not just about fighting but - How you fight.

The high office of "Prime Minister" quite rightly receives due respect. But respect of an individual is not something that is given.

Respect has to be earned - Mr Prime Minister.

Rick - Suffolk - UK - 3rd March - 2020


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