Thursday, 8 March 2007

You in your small corner, and I in mine.

The “Westminster Village” doesn’t appear on any map. It’s not a place but a state of mind. It’s inhabited by those who walk the Palace of Westminster‘s corridors - the: politicians, journalists, researchers, lobbyists and politicos. They have in common the belief the Palace of Westminster is the epicentre of the Universe, and if someone sneezes in the Palace all of humanity must take notice.

The above is natural behaviour, we all think we are important, and if you’re a politician then very important! We make our mark on the World by our actions. If those actions are trivial then by inference we are trivial. That thought is unacceptable to the ego. I am important, therefore my activities are important, therefore everybody else must accept my activities are important. We become involved in activities, work, family or hobbies and believe they are worthwhile activities.

The need to attribute a degree of importance to activities has consequences. Sometimes common sense and judgement can be distorted by our commitment to activities. The Chairperson of a flower arranging group can become very upset if the group’s activities do not go to plan. A suggestion by a member to make a minor change to group activities can be perceived as a threat to human existence!

Within every group or organisation, there are power structures. The combination of self-importance and power can make a volatile mixture. I am a member of a Residence Association, some years ago the committee started to do their own thing - not consulting members or even informing them of decisions take. A group of members decided to form a group to oust the committee and replace them. They ran a campaign, the central plank being Consultation and Communication. They called an emergency general meeting and they were successful in replacing the committee. Within three months, there was widespread dissatisfaction with the new committee - they didn’t consult. They said they were too busy running the Association.

Lord Acton in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton in 1887 wrote:

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

How very true, when one of the residents questioned the attitude of the new committee, she was told in no uncertain terms, if she criticised the committee she would be sued for slander.

Today I leave you with a question. Who is the person in the picture? What is his name, and what position does he hold?

The answer will be given tomorrow, together with its relevance to today’s blog.

1 comment:

Yes But said...

I have now added a Guestbook where you can start discussions.