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Thursday, January 20, 2011

What riles us is being told to move on. The language of leadership. Bob Diamond, Barclays and saying sorry.

Our banking, political and military leaders have got us into a fine old pickle in the last few years. Bad enough, but what makes it worse is the way they highjack our emotions and seek to wipe the slate clean on their terms and timetable. A case in point is the performance of Barclay’s chief executive: Bob Diamond, who observed before the Parliamentary Select Committee recently, that the “period of remorse needs to be over.”

Unfortunately this tone of communication can be seen elsewhere amongst our leadership cadre. As the military debacle over kit and policy emerged in Afghanistan and Iraq, we heard from our military and political leaders variations on: “ We are where we are”, “Need to draw a line” and “Time to move on”.

We feel cheated that this form of linguistic cop out is used and the electorate looks on with disgust. Political memories can be short, but there is no doubt there is a pattern to this evasion of responsibility, and an underestimation of the emotional intelligence of the citizen.

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