Saw something very interesting the other day – a picture of a beast, maybe a caribou, maybe another large bovine, surrounded by wolves who were growling and teeth-baring and the caption was about how it survived.
Trick apparently was to stand the ground and never flinch, most certainly don’t run. The instant he would run, something would trigger in them and that would be the end of it.
Staring down definitely worked in Russia one evening with a semi-wild dog and in that instance, I did have women to protect. Interesting that one of the ladies, no slouch in the danger department herself, used the ignore-and-walk-on-by approach, possibly a better approach as it gets you out of the danger area or at least gives you a head start.
The bottom line is one Cameron has never learnt, the wimp and the key is in that word – wimp. But more than not being wimpish is to have a clear plan and stick to it.
There’s a time to cut and run in the face of danger for sure, e.g. in Pamplona with that lot boring down on you:
… and there’s also a time to play passive and let them have their way, e.g. Sir Galahad in Python’s Holy Grail with Zoot and her eight-score maidens:
But there’s also a time to be firm.
Why does Russian shipping have no further bother with pirates? You know the answer – the navy came in, took all the pirates, put them back on their boat, handcuffed to the rails and then blew the boat up. Word got around the area.
There’s a key element here, one Teddy Roosevelt understood – that the Russians are not, by default, vicious people, just a bit blunt but mostly friendly if you enjoy a vodka or eight – very openhearted people. But one doesn’t mess with them. One doesn’t go near another man’s woman without wanting one’s features rearranged. Good ally, not a nice foe.
On top of this, there’s a certain amount of knowing what’s really going on. Cameron is wasting his time “negotiating” with people who have no intention of conceding anything – they’re in the business of stealing national sovereignty, the beast does not change its nature. So why bother? Wake up.
There are times when a foe is not dangerous at that time, is in a benign state. There’s a stretch of coastline south of Australia, for example, where any sharks have probably come back from their feeding grounds and as long as one keeps one’s distance, they’ll keep theirs.
So one conserves one’s energy and is watchful, doesn’t fritter it away shark chasing. However, if it were a rabid wolf in the forests of Russia, exterminate is the only immediate solution.
One chooses the approach to suit the situation. But Cameron seems to have no situational analysis in him. And when he does see what he must do, he has no bottle.
What brought all this on today were some comments at OoL, this by Bill Sticker:
The problem is not the function but the functionaries, who arbitrarily shift project goalposts for political reasons and generally haven’t a clue about project deliverables, i.e.what software can and can’t do. Not to mention their complete cowardice and lack of ruthlessness when it comes to making decisions.
If – *if* – we do take military action it must be more than a few mosques. It must be decimation: literal decimation. killing 10% of their population. No mercy, no excuses. Ignore the rules of war and simply slaughter them. Burn them out of their caves with napalm. Use weapons the like of which most people cannot conceive. The defeat must be so total, so savage, so utterly horrific that they never fight so much as grumble about toilet paper ever again – for centuries.
They won’t stop. They won’t negotiate. We can’t be nice to these people. They don’t want anything.
Two elements in there. First is consistency of message, second is the nature of the projected, the innate menace, getting the mix right. Menace is a technique for those who don’t naturally have it.
I learnt very early in teacher training how to go about it as I had a supervising teacher I was put with over two terms and I constantly wondered at his control – he never seemed to exert any and yet had it all right. Not only that but he was a cheerful chappy and the kids loved him.
I’d say now it was because he never flinched, never put up with any s***, plus he seemed to know what he was doing, plus the bit so many miss – those kids knew he cared for them and would do near anything for them – at least that was the impression he gave.
And he was consistent – no U-turns [remember Maggie]. But consistency is still nothing if one does not care and Maggie gave the impression to too many people that she didn’t care.
So all of those together are what Cameron should be doing in the world – being formidable, being consistent, being fair and compassionate, caring for his country, choosing sane positions, supported by most people.
To be anti-war, for example, is not a position of pacifism or weakness, it’s a position of keeping your powder dry. But you must have that powder in the first place, in order to keep it dry.
Why does it need spelling out? Every time Cameron shakes his little fist and mutters threats he’ll take in the future, threats no one takes a blind bit of notice of, we just cringe – he leaves us the more unprotected as people – witness the current invasion.
And then he chooses soft targets within the community to hit and show how brave he is- but everyone knows he hasn’t the spine to take on the bully.
I’ve no more spine than most men of the era I came from – every man I knew was like this – but I’ve a hell of a lot more than these Camerons today and know that without it, people walk over you.
It’s just common sense for a leader to have a set of positions people voted for, stand tall and defend them. We don’t have this with Cameron, Brown was a blustering bully, Blair was a criminal, Miliband had no spine, plus he was away with the fairies – Nigel’s the only one with most but not all the qualities leaders need and those he lacks are pretty major ones.
Just a smidgeon of humour perhaps? A sense that he can take things in his stride, with a humorous aside. And then to deliver. Always to be seen to deliver and never backtrack. That’s leadership.
Why have we no beloved leader who can get it right? Answer of course is in the preselection process – wrong type of person on shortlists. And that’s a systemic failure. Instead of hanging our heads, we need to find someone in the community, someone who has run a business or led people, gather round and promote that person.
Someone who understands the hidden govt and is not afraid to take it on.