This post looks at promises in relation to power and leadership.
- The LibDem leadership has spectacularly back-tracked on pre-election pledges to abolish university tuition fees;
- Opinion varies as to whether this involves any real wrong-doing;
- Pragmatists urge Clegg to think hard about future manifesto promises and to always shape future policy for power-sharing;
- This implies abandoning the party’s ‘dreams’ (perhaps another word for ‘vision’?) and being ‘realistic’;
- Idealists cannot reconcile themselves to the broken promises;
- Moral outrage leads them to call for another election, in which manifesto promises are better scrutinised, but they struggle to muster a ‘killer’ argument against the LibDem leadership’s actions;
- By using good leadership principles and practice as a bench-mark we can evaluate the longer term impact of the u-turn on the LibDem organisation, and on the political environment in which it operates;
- Assessed using these criteria, the LibDem leadership is found seriously wanting, and has fallen well short of its leadership responsibilities;
- The damaging material consequences of its actions might not be fully felt for some time;
- Only a very short-term, self-serving view can draw any comfort from this lag between cause and effect.
This post is presented in sections. See page 2 for a list of the main section headings.