Posts Tagged ‘purpose’

Both competence and purpose are needed to lead for Britain

08/05/2012, 07:00:43 AM

by Jonathan Todd

Politics as usual is under pressure. The old moves aren’t working.

We say they are “out of touch”. They say we are an “unaffordable risk”. The attacks of both Labour and the Tories claim that the other cannot lead for the whole nation due to possession by sectional interests; be that the mateocracy, bankers, or News International; the trade unions, the public sector, or welfare claimants.

Rebuttals evade charges of sectionalism. Attacks claim national leadership. At the same time, what we are, as a state and people, is fundamentally questioned by Alex Salmond and the Eurozone crisis.

And then, increasing support for smaller parties, from our first Green MP in Brighton to Respect’s revival in Bradford, create a myriad of further challenges to the national leadership sought by David Cameron and Ed Miliband.

To a significant extent, all of this can be thought, in Marxist parlance, the superstructure to the economic base: an economic crisis, which has impaired UK growth more than the 1930s depression, has both created an existential crisis for the Euro and with it the EU, as well as opportunities for smaller parties.

As much as economic perceptions will do more to determine how votes are cast at the general election than anything else, it would be a mistake to think that everything in our politics can be explained in these terms.

While economic management is the primary competence issue, competency is a means to an end.


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