Posted tagged ‘air space’

A sense of Deja Vu!

26/09/2014

Robert Byrd is a Democrat from West Virginia.  He is an eloquent speaker and his words really resonate with me: “What is happening in this country?  When did we become a nation which ignores and berates our friends? When did we decide to risk undermining international order by adopting a radical and doctrinaire approach to using our awesome military might? How can we abandon diplomacy when the turmoil in the world cries out for diplomacy?

Today at 10:30 (Friday 26 September 2014), the British Parliament is recalled and yet again our country and military are considering a high-altitude conflict (because that is what modern warfare often begins with – drones and flying technology) dropping explosives to thwart ‘terrorists’ on the ground.

Virtually every modern Parliamentary sitting has to face such a recall within its term of office but the consequences of their decisions will be felt for years and decades beyond their political decision making.  In that small chamber in Whitehall the debate and subsequent votes will determine the lives or deaths of people.  It will determine the post trauma and stress that will be experienced by people and it will set in place the behaviours and attitudes of future generations and actions that may follow amongst our population and in our communities.

The Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace  was set up by the parents of a child who died as a result of others making decisions and the consequences that followed.  The Founders of the charity I work for stood up for peace by saying clearly that they didn’t want what they have experienced and still experience ever day to happen to anyone else.  Every day our Foundation works FOR PEACE – simply defined that we accept that conflict exists and is a reality in our personal lives, in our homes, in our communities, in the workplace, in every ‘walk of life’ including across races, religions and nations.  BUT, we believe, you don’t need to resort to violence to resolve conflict.  You do it through dialogue, mediation, negotiation, sharing experiences and understanding and yes, as Robert Byrd says – diplomacy.  Violence results in violence – there is no other conclusion.

In recent weeks I have called on the Government to look closely at the long-term investment and actions that need to be taken.  There has been a resounding silence.  When Robert Byrd spoke his words there was also a resounding silence.  We need to have this debate and we need it now.  Politicians have to look beyond their short-term lifespan of five years.  We need Government for the decades and centuries.  Our history shows us the decisions of previous Parliamentary recalls and the actions taken.  Our present shows us the consequences of those decisions and today one can’t help feeling a sense of deja vu!  The words I quote from Robert Byrd are powerful and similar may be spoken by another politician today.  In fact, Robert spoke those words on 19 March 2003 over a decade ago.  How far have we come, have we learnt anything, and perhaps it is time his words were listened to and heard.

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A risky business

21/04/2010

2010 so far has been punctuated by two huge and prominent events of nature that effectively brought parts of our society to a standstill.

The severe snows that turned Britain white plunged our infrastructure into chaos.  Major supermarket supply chains fell apart, roads, trains and planes ground to a halt and mostly we spent our time worrying about salt.

And now a distant volcano has bestowed a cloud of despondent doom and resulted in hundreds and thousands of people being stranded in abject misery let alone counting the cost to business and the supply chain.

The problem to me is we just can’t cope with such events.  We appear to be a society blighted by inaction:  diplomacy, risk aversion, bureaucracy, litigious considerations, lack of pace and urgency all seem to combine resulting in stasis.  Both of these events showed no sign of any crisis management and only days after they unfolded did activity start to happen.  The lack of information, communication and leadership was woeful.

I for one feel worried about what these events have taught us and how modern society seems to be perched on a precarious ledge teetering on the brink of uncertainty and inability to act.  In business, many of us have had to learn about crisis management and I spend my days helping my clients help themselves in promoting and, importantly, protecting their reputation.  But, I am left in no doubt that the signs are there that we need to build the capability and capacity to deal with such huge natural occurrences that impact our rather not so natural existence on this earth.  What we need most is Government to provide the credibility and leadership so we can all be reassured.