“All good leaders follow the led!” Yes. An oxymoron of a phrase if there ever was one. But I realise, now, that I have my touchstone for the Labour leadership campaign.
There seem to be a number of rather unpleasant comments floating around at the moment, which – if true – insult us all. Forrest Gump is a story of notable triumph over considerable adversity.
None of us should care to use the object of such a tale, however fictional it may be, to smear another’s character.
By doing so, more than anything else, we uncover our own prejudices. Prejudices which revolve around the relative virtues of individuals: in both their particular qualities and their innate usefulness to society.
A sad day in the leadership campaign, I have to say.
Meanwhile, David Miliband’s team interprets the future from a concept of people management located firmly in the past. Unable to perceive the sea change that will rock British politics over the next few years, it is clear that he and his advisers can only construct themselves in terms of their opposition, and how they choose to currently run things.
Essentially, in exactly the same way as the large companies which sponsor them.
On the other hand, I find myself looking for a good leader, a responsive leader, a manager and facilitator rolled into one: that is to say, a leader who knows how to follow the led.
Which leads me to my final score. Ed Balls first choice. Andy Burnham second. And Ed Miliband in third position will do me just fine.
But let it be understood I was only going to preference the first two choices until today’s childish news of these kindergarten slurs.
In fact, we might say “Bad Day At Red Rock” all round, Mr Miliband (D). I mean if you’re that prepared to threaten us so we feel obliged to follow you before you’re duly anointed, just think how you might act after the event itself.
I now shudder to think.