Why Jeremy Hunt is missing the point

As I see it, it makes no difference whether or not Jeremy Hunt is squeaky clean. (Read the latest from the BBC here.)

The point is, he has to take responsibility for what his staff was doing. It’s not just because it’s the right thing to do. It’s because everything falls apart without strong leadership. Imagine if the manager of our local Tesco claimed he wasn’t responsible for mistakes at the checkout (many and various, in my opinion). Or if Rachel Jensen tried to put the blame for year 1’s revolting pornographic graffiti on the lovely Miss Black. Or if Mary our vicar said she wasn’t responsible for the dramatic decline in church attendance. (I do wonder, in fact, if this is something we should discuss as a community.)

The point is that if you put yourself up for high office, you have to accept that you carry the can. It’s all very well wafting about the country courting headlines (or hiding behind trees), but you also have to be prepared to take the blame when things go wrong.

The good thing about taking responsibility is that you can also claim all the credit when you score a resounding success. As I do, frequently, whenever anyone mentions St Jude’s PTA.

Do, please, refresh your memories by reading chapter 1 of How I Seized Power: A Handbook for Leaders Everywhere.

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