Updated: Nov 23, 2020
Prime Minister, Borris Johnson, to his credit, has authorised an additional four Billion pounds to go to the British Armed Forces budget. It still leaves the Defence Budget in deficit - but the extra investment, chiefly for cyber defence, though long overdue, is welcome.
It is vital the UK steps up to its obligations, to stand guard, not just in its own defence but in support of our allies and to fulfil its UN obligations.
What is not so good is the threat to steal this money from the Foreign Aid Budget. It does not sit well, the thought of allowing human beings to die so we can buy more weapons of destruction. Put like that, which might be a little unfair - it might persuade the Government to change its mind and reinstate the 0.7% British Foreign Aid Budget.
The twisting and exaggeration of facts that turn truth to lies
I listened to a segment off Fox News with Shaun Hannity hosting. He was bashing Obama, Biden and Michelle Obama also - No surprises there. He had as his guests, a woman and a man, Candace Owens and Leo Terrell, both African American, which I suppose is obligatory if you are bashing a previous Black President and his wife. But listening to these two guests, goaded on by Mr Hannity, I couldn't help wondering if they really believed all they were saying? Hannity included. It is exactly the same as Trump, the man they support.
It is so difficult to understand how anyone listening and with a modicum of common sense could be so gullible as to believe what they heard. But I guess we hear what we want to hear. Not everything Candace Owens or Leo Terrell said was wrong or untrue, but what these people do is put a truth together with an exaggeration and a falsehood. From this, they then stitch together a bizarre interpretation which is entirely misleading and reach an untrue supposition. But because it has a grain of truth running through it - to many people - it becomes "Gospel."
This is how most tyrannical leaders operate. Facts and truth become hazy and irrelevant in their argument and are overtaken by emotion. Think Borris Johnson and Brexit. And the listeners stop listening to or questioning the facts and start hearing only what they want to hear. Their interpretation of what has been said becomes selective and almost entirely emotional, even baseless in facts.
Before you know it, the "Mob Mentality" has formed where all reason vanishes, and the human side of darkness and fear-based emotions take over: the proverbial angry lynch Mob - out for revenge, punishment and with intolerance of those who are not on their side of the argument. That old chestnut; "you're either with us or against us". Everyone in the Mob becomes brave and fearless, so long as they remain in the Mob and part of the crowd.
If you were to separate one of the Mob out and ask them what they were so het-up about - you would get a different answer from each one of them. But they have all convinced themselves that - in this case, Mr Trump is the solver of all their issues and their dissatisfaction with whatever they are not satisfied. Little do they comprehend that Trump doesn't give two ticks for their welfare, but they are blinded to that now.
This kind of thread seems to be occurring more in our world, driven by dishonest leaders who deliberately misinform and cast shadows of fear that arent real in order to rile up their followers and feed the flames of discontent.
The solving of our issues and division will always get back to honesty in leadership, empathy, vision and the power of reason in order to persuade and win the argument. But when segments of society are uninformed, feel ignored and forgotten, or when they shoulder too much of the over-all burden without reward, discontent can set in peoples minds. And that is what the "Trumps" of our World play on. It is easy for them to whip up the fear and division with lies, exaggerations and sowing seeds of doubt - Divide and Conquer; this strategy is as old as the hills.
Keeping and maintaining the fragile balance of fairness, recognition and communication in a democracy is critical. We all have to be careful of what we will tolerate and equally mindful of our intolerance.
Borris Johnson fails the test - again
The British Prime Minister has cocked a finger at the British Civil Service once again.
Back in the Spring British Lock-Down, Borris spectacularly failed to Fire Dominic Cumming, his right-hand Machiavellian schemer for Breaking the Lock-Down Rules that he had instigated.
Soon after taking office as Home Secretary, Priti Patel was accused of being an unscrupulous bully, shouting and swearing at her minions.
It might be that Whitehall could do with a shake-up and a breath of fresh air on occasion, but poor behaviour and bullying on a consistent basis is surely unacceptable.
Johnson commissioned an independent inquiry headed up by Sir Alex Allan, to look into the many accusations that Priti Patel was abusive, unkind and a bully. His findings, after an eight-month inquiry, were that Ms Patel was unfit to hold the position of Cabinet Minister due to her constant temper tantrums, swearing and abusing those working for her. Despite warnings, she had continued with her abusive behaviour and bullying, until eventually, people started resigning in protest, including the most senior civil servant in her department, Sir Philip Rutnam.
Rather than accept the findings of the inquiry he put in motion himself, the Prime Minister elected to ignore the result and consequently, Sir Alex Allen, who led the inquiry resigned.
Johnson's credibility as a leader is now even further diminished - if that were possible.
It is a great shame that our Prime Minister is so lacking in his understanding of the strength of Character and Leadership that is required of his High Office, yet he continues repeating his mistakes of the past.
Rick - Suffolk - UK - 21st November - 2020