It has been a bad start to the year for Europe.
German and French economic forecasts are down. French bureaucrats are proving they really do not know how to listen to the angry voters they serve and Romania, unable to manage its own tiny country, is about to take over as the leader of the 28 nations of the EU.
Amidst all this, the Brexit day of reckoning looms closer – 11 weeks and counting. The British Prime Minister, already a serial loser of no-confidence votes, can expect to lose again next Wednesday, whilst British GDP, house prices and economic futures are dropping. It is hard to see any shining lights of hope.
We are in a time that demands leadership and deliberate, considered and capable action.
Clement Attlee, probably the greatest peace time British Prime Minister, acknowledged that democracy meant government by discussion. But he went on to say it can only be effective if you can stop people talking and make them act.
Inaction creates a vacuum – this is where the cracks start to become serious. Politics has polarised, become bitter and is no longer the pusuit of the most pragmatic and realistic way to help our citizens and our world prosper.I fear for the next 12 months – expect deteriorating economic performance, increasing polarisation and, I am afraid given the repeating momentum of history – expect violence and despotic governments. The lights may well be going out once more.
Have a good day. James