I struggle in the world we now live in, to comprehend how the people who ‘lead’ us manage to get into the positions of power. A little like the proverbial turtle on a post, they appear, get voted for and then show a very scant amount of authority.
The UK is led by Boris Johnson, a man who when he became Mayor of London, seemed like a fun figure, but who then got less and less done. He campaigned to be PM following Mays tenure, and has shown very little aptitude for the role. As people cleverer than me have said, he wanted to become PM, and wanted to have been PM, but just didn’t want to have to do the actual being PM part. Even more shameful is his apparent use of un-elected advisors (the infamous Dominic Cummings) which has led to a country divided. We are in the midst of the worst pandemic in over a lifetime, heading towards the cliff of a no deal Brexit (despite having an ‘oven ready’ deal ready to go), and yet the biggest concern surrounds the nickname his partner receives from these overgrown school boys. He exists in a world of jobs for the boys, stiff upper lips, and throw backs to Latin lessons at Eton – impressing people with big words and convoluted sentences, which under examination have little substance.
In the US, we are hopefully seeing the end of the tyranny of the Donald being president – another divisive figure to say the least. In his four years we have seen families separated, walls built, Muslims banned from entering the country, support for the right wing, Russian interference, Black Lives Matter protests, and countless other events. The story is so nonsensical you would struggle to write it. And these cancers have spread around the world, bigots emboldened by the leader of the free world and his lapdog in the UK calling Muslim women post boxes, and deriding the fear black men have of police, while keeping the racists and conspiracy nuts fuelled through their own crackpot ideas. Think Covid is a hoax – Trump will support that. Think Brexit will make the UK a superpower – Boris will support that. Think our fishing is more important than the creative industries – Rees Mogg the haunted Victorian pencil will support that.
All of these men have massive followings. They brought out the thoughts that people kept hidden, the hate they kept down. Humans are not as tolerant as we like to think, and by exploiting this (anti foreigners, isolationism, just them funny brown people) Boris and Trump have found massive support. And this can not now be put back in the box, the genie is out. I dont get political very often, but I believe this is unforgivable, and they should be held to account for it. The people in the country I see as leaders dont have grand ambitions to have power over the general population, they lead by showing the way. Marcus Rashford has led on ensuring children are fed, an amazing thing to do at his age. During lockdown other heroes for me have been Tim Burgess of the Charlatans, organising listening sessions on Twitter, and on a local level the shop and cafe owners banding together to help self isolating neighbours. They have all led better than Boris has ever done – not caring about their approval rating, or the latest three word slogan brainstormed by a marketing executive who has never seen a real job.
But we have had some light this week. Biden has been declared the winner in the US, Cummings has walked out of Number 10, and we may have a vaccine for Covid-19. What has been a really tough year, may be coming around at the end.