A moment to pause
10/12/2013 Leave a comment
Like the storm surge that hit our coast last week and speaking of battering, what about the George v Ed show in the House of Commons as George Osborne delivered his autumn statement last Thursday.
Whilst you can take a view one way or another on the body text of the autumn statement, which generally was kinder to local government than expected, the big loser was Ed Balls who simply had a very bad day at the office, in short he lost his cool in the House of Commons and dented his personal brand.
Yet in many ways his key point was rather re-enforced the very next day by the IFS rather backed his assertion. Well, at least when it comes to his claim that British families are £1,600 a year worse off under the Coalition. The IFS questioned Labour’s working in the margins but essentially, Paul Johnson agreed with Labour’s calculation that “is not giving a misleading impression of the changes in living standards that have taken place during the financial crisis”. Having said that I do wonder at times what people think was going to be the result of the near financial collapse of 13 years of Labour’s fiscal madness of course it means that families are worse off and until the recovery is as long and sustained as the crash, it will not be made up, but even then we will be worse off as essentially that ground financially will not be made up and to my mind that is what was meant by Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund when she said we were in the ‘lost decade’.
But that was, of course, rightly overshadowed by sad news of the passing of Nelson Mandela. I recall sitting down and watching the BBC coverage of his release from prison, the hour it took him to walk down the dirt track and make his first short speech to the world after 27 years in prison, all those years ago as it struck me then this is a piece of living history. It also struck me as the world drew in its breath and paused, what happens if this man takes revenge. As we now know he proved to be one of the most significant Leaders in the world as he led the birth of a free nation, and through his softly spoken words and generously of spirit stopped a nation descending into civil war and genocide.
Today over 95,000 people will the stadium where he made his last public appearance as ordinary South Africans and Leaders from around the world pay tribute to this remarkable man. In the pantheon of great Leaders who have advanced the human race, for his demonstration and conviction in the power of reconciliation and forgiveness rather than military might, he surely now takes his place.