The Plastic Hippo

September 17, 2016

Follow the leader

Filed under: Media,Politics — theplastichippo @ 11:56 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,


Once upon a time long ago, on a management training course organised by an employer determined to waste both time and money, a rather vacuous facilitator explained the difference between leadership and management. Management, it seems, is defined as “doing things right” and leadership is the ability to “do the right thing”. The training day, or Continued Professional Development as this psycho babble is now called, was punctuated by a bland lunch in a bland conference room in a bland chain hotel just off a motorway junction.

The morning was devoted to management and how to get around various bits of legislation specifically designed to ruin productivity and damage profitability. The evils of health and safety, equal pay and accurate accounting were carefully explained and various strategies to minimise the negative effect of anti-business law were explored. The afternoon celebrated leadership and the courage required to take risks when maximising profit. The “right thing” was defined by the motivation to make money and to become increasingly powerful.

It`s not every week we witness two political “leaders” ostensibly bow out of public notoriety in order to spend more time with their money. We knew that David Cameron was gone as leader as much as we knew he was an inept, shallow and self-serving crook of a leader and now joins his living predecessors in waiting for the Crown Prosecution Service to come knocking on the door. Nigel Farage, thankfully, was never Prime Minister and was never even a member of parliament yet his shuffling off into deserved obscurity seems to have generated as much fuss as the departure of slippery Dave. How will we cope without anti-establishment, man of the people, public school commodities broker Farage?

As a leader, Farage embraced the notion of doing the right thing and like the vacuous facilitator at the early 90s training day, defined the right thing as the right thing for Nigel Farage. Regardless of endless allegations of racism, Farage is not a racist but is a master at manipulating those that are racists. In giving a voice to bigotry, intolerance and ignorance Farage has made an unhealthy living in European parliamentary payments without bothering to turn up and vote. By exploiting fear and hatred with lies and duplicity, Farage has achieved more than any deranged tin pot bully could ever hope for. Up against a weak Tory Prime Minister fearful of losing the xenophobe vote, Farage successfully delivered his only policy. The UK voted by 52 per cent to 48 per cent to leave the European Union.

Farage might not be a racist but he is responsible for making dirty British politics even dirtier. Lies and scaremongering certainly brings airtime, headlines and notoriety but on this occasion has resulted in far worse. The hate speech spouted by Farage and others has led directly to hate crime. MP Jo Cox was fatally shot and stabbed by a right-wing fanatic with a history of mental illness. A Muslim woman lost her unborn baby as a result of being repeatedly kicked by a white British racist. Polish men have been murdered for simply speaking Polish. Clearly, Farage was not present at the scenes of crime, but his rhetoric of idiocy and prejudice has emboldened people with mental illness to kill. If the perpetrators of these hate crimes had been classified as anything other than white British, then they would be classified as terrorists. In short, Farage has preached terrorism.

The image at the top of the page has already become something of a cliché. It does, however, illustrate perfectly the legacy left by Nigel Farage. Ugly, sweaty narcissistic men will continue to seek power regardless of political leaning. There is one operating across the water and others in the fractured UK Labour Party. We must feel some sympathy for Diane James, the new leader of a redundant party. Not only does she resemble a primary school teacher who got the date wrong for a Women`s Institute meeting but she will now be ignored along with other party leaders who happen to be women. Ugly, sweaty men shouting hatred will always attract more attention.

Back in the 90s, the training day organised for middle-managers aspiring to be entrepreneurs ended in chaos as we were expected to pay for our lunch and due to a misunderstanding, had to make our own way home.

The next day, the leader of the HR Department was unceremoniously sacked.

1 Comment »

  1. At least there’s no danger of Labour having a woman leader ignored, or a Jewish one.

    Comment by Rob — September 18, 2016 @ 12:14 am | Reply

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