The Norwich North bye-election has been very enlightening in many aspects, but before going into that, I propose to examine the attributes, the psychology and the personality required by a good leader. The first necessity is that a leader must be absolutely confident in their own ability and judgement, while at the same time accepting that they are not omniscient. Their situation is a lonely one, in most cases, and because they must judge those working with and for them, there will always be a barrier across which it is unwise to tread. They must be sufficiently experienced to be able to make these judgements fairly, without prejudice and without favour. It is important that they respect the people they are working with, because this attribute commands respect in return. Clear thinking, plus original and lateral thinking are paramount necessities, uncluttered by self doubt, but taken slowly and carefully, together with accepting other peoples views, if worthy. An insight into what makes people tick is a valuable prerequisite in man management. A sense of humour, and a sense of the ridiculous help, and an easy, no-nonsense, manner is essential. Using these yardsticks when viewing our current leaders, it is surprising how many seem to fall short in the essentials.
I think everyone was surprised at how often David Cameron went on the stump. To me it showed a lack of faith in the ability of the candidate chosen and her entourage. It also demonstrated that he was not certain of his own competence to achieve his ends, where one visit should have been enough. I believe this has shown a serious psychological weakness. Bomb-basting on the floor of the House has only gone to strengthen this conclusion. If you read Chloe Smith’s blog you will see that she is keen to stress that her age is an advantage rather than a problem, because she is fully aware within herself, that it is a disadvantage. With the incredible variety of subjects that have to be dealt with by MPs in the committees, and with respect to voting, experience would seem essential. It was interesting the way the local electorate took umbrage at the way Gordon Brown had treated their previous member of Parliament, and voted by not using their feet.