The horrible truth is that cowards prosper in Britain

From the City to Westminster, it’s clear that doing nothing is still the profitable and prudent option.
From the Observer
In normal times, he who plays safe plays best. The assumption that an apparently doomed leader will survive or apparently calamitous policy come good in the end is true more frequently than radicals like to admit. Going along with the conventional wisdom not only ensures your career will prosper, but also, and perhaps to your surprise, puts you on the right side of the argument. The environmental catastrophe never happens. The system does not fall apart. The advocates of urgent change turn out to be hysterics and wisdom turns out to lie with those who insisted there was never a need to panic.

I am sorry to dwell on the obvious, but we are not living through normal times but a rolling crisis. The banking crash led to recession, which led to a popular fury at the often minor, but still telling, corruptions of MPs who were fiddling expenses while the financial system boomed and bust. That anger has now concentrated on the shattered Brown administration, whose manifest failings could destroy Labour’s chances of winning another election – maybe forever, if the Liberal Democrats and Greens take over what remains of the centre-left.

In every phase of the crisis, intelligent people who could have spoken out when it may have made a difference chose to stay silent. At a time when the cowardice of the respectable has led to ruin, we do not need to concern ourselves with the pathologies of alarmists but should worry instead about the delusions of safe, sensible men and women who boast of their pragmatism.

James Purnell must be thinking of little else this weekend…

Read the whole thing

4 thoughts on “The horrible truth is that cowards prosper in Britain

  1. “I suspect that those ministers who sat on their hands this weekend will not be blamed for the demise of leftish Britain either. Certainly, if Brown goes quickly, and he still may, all of them will keep their jobs and be praised by one and all for their “safe pair of hands”.”

    You’re being a little melodramatic here, are you not? If the ministers had *not* sat on their hands and led a charge to unseat Brown, they wouldn’t be credited for saving ‘leftist Britain’ simply because such action, while desirable for a number of reasons, would be unlikely to achieve this. It’s all about limiting the scale of defeat and there are reasons other than cowardice for thinking unseating Brown isn’t necessarily the best way to do this surely?

  2. Thank you for drawing attention to the fact that what we face now is as much a moral crisis as a political one. The debate, correctly, is currently focused on personalities rather than policies or institutions. This is not a ‘distraction’.

    Brown is condemned for his now transparent mendacity and bullying. His continuance is polluting public life and, literally, demoralising the country.

    Until he goes nothing worthwhile is achievable. We need to be led by people whose morality is manifest and respected; we are desperate for an example to be set. It’s just very difficult to see where this is going to come from. Where are the clean hands that can resolve our financial and political scandals?

  3. cowards prosper everywhere in the western world. it’s nice to read someone has called some of them on it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s