Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Leadership is ethics, honesty and action

it’s not about being a silent witness

I’m at a dinner party with my oldest friends, after years apart.  We’re talking, as only old friends can do, openly and honestly about who we once were and what we’d become.  We get to the loss of integrity in public life and onto politics and there is a sudden, complete and heartfelt sadness amongst us.  We speak of the lies, the deceit and misrepresentations, the fake-news, falsehoods and the gullibility of so many of our fellow citizens. We arrive at the inevitable… What can we do?

The Dinner Party
We begin to tell our stories.  At my turn, I say I’m not a member of a political party.  That I spent my career in education teaching about and encouraging integrity, honesty, values and living to a set of ethics.  I continued that work In Education and Business Leadership.  My work with www.iAbacus.co.uk now is all about empowering people.  I encourage Judgement and Action based on Evaluation and Analysis of Evidence.   My beliefs are best captured in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.  I want us all, humanity, to work together and make our world safer and more caring.

The others bear witness to their lives and work.  We have an impressive set of achievements and success between us – retirement and a quieter life beckon.  

I go on to explain that, a couple of years ago, I decided to speak up more – to challenge opinion parading as fact and especially lies and falsehoods.  I quote from Hamlet, a play we had studied together in school,

“Above all to thine own self be true and it shall follow, as the night the day, thou can’t be false to no-one”

I explain that if I am to be true, to my beliefs and ethics, I am moved to do something about the future of the poor and the vulnerable.  I have to do what I can to protect our environment threatened by the #ClimateEmergency.   I tell them of www.kes-charity.co.uk   I admit that I’m old and rich enough not to worry about the downturn that #Brexit portends, or Global Warning but I am still working, trying to make a difference.  One of my friends says,

“John, you are right, I too am deeply appalled by it all…. but I don’t want to cause friction and unpleasantness with the people I meet….. so I say nothing”

A visceral reaction boils up - despair turns into anger.  I manage to hold it but still bang my fist on the table,

“No!  You must to speak up... No! When people, like YOU and all you believe stay silent – hope dies, a little more, for the rest of us”

And there we have it – my friend is a Silent Witness - I'd expected more...

A radical in my own country

The activist, teacher, evangelist and leader within calmed me down.  I asked about the other decent people, we know, who are appalled and yet do nothing.  How many good, bright, “Silent Witnesses” are there out there just watching as our Country slides down?  
I explain that being like this, speaking up, challenging, means I've become a radical in my own country.  I’ve lost friendships and business because, yes, I am an activist now –  I’m a staunch #Remainer.  I want to stay in Europe and have been on all the #PeoplesVote marches. 

Peoples' Vote March
I’m trying hard to bend the ears of those happy to swallow the untruths perpetuated by a biased print press and through the millions spent on Social Media Campaigns. These campaigns are working, judging by latest polls and so we need more to act. The good news is I have gained friendships and business too.  I am hurt by the silent looks of disdain and the abuse I get.  I know that I waste time on those who are beyond truth.  Then I am humbled and warmed by the friends and strangers, who thank me for speaking up and beg me to carry on kicking against the pricks.
There was never any doubt that we five parted as friends but what about you, perceptive reader?  What about you?

Are you a Silent Witness?

If so, I’m challenging you - no I'm pleading... maybe it’s time to stop being a #SilentWitness?  
There are just a few days before Election2019.  It’s not too late to speak up and persuade a few others to wake up, think carefully and vote for the best of the politicians parading before us.  We need to help the general population see through the subterfuge, to #wakeup and #speak up.

My view?  All political parties shine their spotlights on what they want us to see but there is now a recurring and proven pattern.  We must recognise we are being duped, through traditional press and social media, especially by the right wing press.  

Months of tabloid propaganda pre Brexit Referendum

Conservative Central Office has become the worst, led by Boris Johnson, led by Dominic Cummins, backed with millions.  Boris Johnson is cynically using the dark arts of manipulation and political shenanigans to win this election, whilst playing the amiable, tough buffoon.

Rebranding and more lies

So, what can we do?

We don’t need to get bogged down, too much, in the economics of Brexit and all the messy, muddy, misrepresented policy detail.  Of course, policies are critical and need scrutiny but there is one, crucial, overarching question.  Do we really want a proven liar as our Leader, as our Prime Minister?   This is why I’m arguing one point: #AnyoneButJohnson as Prime Minister.  I’m saying vote Green, SNP, Plaid, Lib-Dem, Labour, Independent.  I’m saying vote for anyone, in your constituency, who can beat the Conservatives in order to stop Boris Johnson becoming PM. Simple eh? 

Why anyone but Johnson?

Why? Because, the evidence indicates the man, in the eyes of many who know him, have worked with him and have fact-checked him: is a serial liar; who speaks, writes and repeats untruths; he misrepresents; promotes false and #FakeNews and has a reputation for lack of application to the work required.  
This is not opinion.  It is fact (see below).  We need to help our fellow citizens see through his “charming bluster” and realise he is a dangerous man and not fit to be our Prime Minister. 
The bus that sold a lie

What’s the evidence?

For anyone in any doubt that #BorisJohnson is a liar - this is the fact-check site to reference.  It was set up by Peter Oborne, a once Conservative supporting journalist, who became deeply disillusioned with Boris Johnson and the lies the Government were promulgating.

All I ask is that you load up the site here  and at the end of Johnson's nose below and follow the links. Then think hard about our future because Leadership is about ethics, honesty and action - it’s not about staying a silent witness.

Lies told by Boris Johnson and his government.

A further article by Peter Oborne, based on his website is here