27 July 2016

To whom do we entrust our children’s future?

michelle obama

Image from Twitter

This was the question raised by Michelle Obama at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. When choosing who leads our nation, we choose who dictates our children’s futures, who they look up to and who sets the example.

Whilst the First Lady’s speech was clearly aimed at a certain Republican presidential candidate, it also raises questions further afield. As we in the UK struggle with leadership of our nation, I have to question if we are asking the right questions.

Is Theresa May the person we want our children to look up to? As the father of four daughters, of course I want my girls to see a female Prime Minister and a female President. There a should be no limit to their dreams. However, do I want my children to look up to a woman who has questionable views on key topics that affect our country’s future?

May, who abolished the Department for Energy and Climate Change as her first act as PM, just after a report warning that urgent action is needed to protect Britain from floods, droughts and heatwaves caused by global warming.

May, who has had what some would call an on-going vendetta against immigrant students and workers for many years now, and who is a key advocate of the Snoopers’ Charter.

Politics and policies aside, can you name any of the key political figures in this country who you believe is a good role model?

Leaders should empower people, they should be the last priority, placing everyone else at the top of the pile – certainly not the other way around. Level Five leaders take ownership of issues, they don’t pass the buck; they lead from the back, watching others succeed and thrive. And, they earn respect.

Michelle Obama exemplified some of these qualities in her speech; speaking with grace and dignity, whilst making a clear, targeted point. When will we see this level of communication in British politics? Looking at the Brexit debates and previous election debates, there is no comparison. Our politicians are too focussed on targeting each other to focus on the standard and example that they set to our young people.

When you look at PMQs or the Budget, for example, more often than not the process takes twice as long because the MPs in the room are too busy heckling one another to listen. It’s like feeding time at the zoo!

We are in dire need of strong leaders; leaders who set an example and who can lead this country out of the tumultuous time that we’re currently in. I hope that the break over the summer will give our government time to regroup, to reassess and to come back stronger.

At least we won’t have any more distractions from Westminster for a while, we can carry on with what we do best – leading the country ourselves!

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