There are leaders and leaders ...

Looking at how quickly and strongly the Dorset Deserves Better* campaign is developing, I was moved to consider how and why an idea becomes a force and to think about how leadership needs to adapt to needs and circumstances. 

Our cricket team at school was strongly led by two future England caps. Did we lose? No, not ever. Did we feel good about that? Yes. Did we, the makeweights in the team, improve? No, we fell by the wayside. Then again, years later a new leader introduces himself to our business team at work: double the output, double the profit or say goodbye. Motivated? Oh yes. Highly motivated. He lasted just long enough to sow the seeds of destruction for the whole enterprise. He ripped it apart as the rampant confronted the cautious; the young and the bold hit the wall of the older and more experienced and the accountants banked the takings and failed to invest.


*Dorset Deserves Better campaign – inclusive, strong on ideas, coherent in its thinking and ably presented - on the Dorset Climate Action Network website:




There are other leadership types, too: “There go the people, I must follow them, for I am their leader” is the classic stance of the politician. You can see its outcome in how the clarion cry of “Take Back Control” has become a hollow bleat in the face of Russia, China, Covid, wholesale gas markets and rising inflation. The last thing to be said of the leadership of the present government is that they are in control. They are hanging on by their fingertips. 

It is clear that we do deserve better in Dorset as do many places but, as they say “you pays your money and you takes your choice.” There are four people presenting themselves in England today as leaders: he who seems to self-serve; he who has served well in another career; he who pushes for fairness and opportunity and for the values of people and their communities. Then there is the Nigel person but enough of him.   

What sort of leader do we need, then? The chaotic in charge of the chaos? The not-quite-charismatic, always looking back over their left shoulder? Or, someone tapped into the thinking, practical heart of our nation, someone who both leads and listens? 

That phrase from a bygone age will help nudge us along the path to a decision: “Events, dear boy, Events.” How apt that a party should be an Event.  

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