Update: well I never, Alan Wilson has written a piece entitled 'Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix' for the Grauniad (Ht Thinking Anglicans). This may look like a co-ordinated Anglican message, but trust me, it isn't.
Hazel Blears has been doing some thinking since last week. She now wishes she’d done the thinking before her triple-whammy of the Observer article, the resignation and the brooch, but the horse - or possibly the chipmunk - has bolted.
Withoutapauseoranyspacesit’sveryhardtomakesenseofthings. High-speed, 24-hour culture has plenty of adrenaline, but not enough......................space. (Aside - tried to just have a long space in that gap but nether Blogger nor Wordpress would let me. Even our blog software can’t stand space) We shoot first and ask questions later, but corpses don’t give great answers - something Blears is discovering as she fights to salvage her political career.
Here’s the dilemma: if we don’t get instant answers to problems and issues then that’s ‘dithering’. But often the best answers come after a bit of time to think, consult and plan. Gordon Browns notorious Youtube video was a classic example of feeling a need to DO SOMETHING, and botching it. Brown is a naturally long-term man trapped in a short-term system, and finding it doesn’t suit him.
We can’t have it both ways. We naturally expect everything ‘now’, but if we want swift, decisive action from the government, church, banks, etc., then it’s less likely (unless the need is screamingly urgent), that they’ll get it right.
The quality of our politics, leadership, and national life requires that government and agencies be given time to think things through. This fights against our culture of the instant. Any government which gives the people what they want won’t be giving us what we need.
Repenting at leisure is all very well, but it’s better not to sin in the first place. 24-7 culture struggles to find the time to make quality choices. The ancient tradition of Sabbath - rest for yourself and for your workers - built in time every week to take stock and step back. A culture without this has lost its Pause button, and that’s not good.
this is a cross post from Touching Base, a weekly column at the Wardman Wire.