Posted tagged ‘Parliament’

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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It’s in the rules

12/05/2009

“…While no minister has (yet) been found to be in breach of the law, many have ripped off the public purse as clinically as a mugger might part a grandma from her handbag…”

Daily Telegraph Comment 12th May 2009

The week that politics died!  Well, perhaps that is a little dramatic but the damage to reputation of politicians from all parties from Sinn Fein to Liberals from Conservatives to Labour is immense.

And the problem – yet again we could see this coming and the reputation damage was totally avoidable.  The problem is what I term organisational DNA.  It is hard coded into systems, management and people collectively and individually.

Virtually everyone can see the blatant and disgraceful expenses debacle for what it is other than the perpetrators who cling on to the rules and act like bleating victims rather than being accountable.  And they just don’t seem able to stop compounding the problem with the Speaker of the House blaming the press, unknown moles and even admonishing MPs for trying to start to sort things out.

Bodyproject is an SME business and therefore we are very strict on matters relating to expense.  Every penny is accounted for and every purchase has due authority and is in the category of essential.  SMEs have to work like that unlike monolithic organisations.  We treat other resources such as time in the same way recording every hour of activity.  We don’t need to be policed or regulated to do this we just know that it is a key element of business success. 

The MPs are in serious trouble.  They badly need help to recode the organisational DNA and they should look no further than SMEs to learn how things should be done in the real world.

Bodyproject would be happy to show them how