Interesting piece by David Gauke, one of the liberal Tories sacked by Johnson, who says he initially supported the Government on COVID, noting the exceptional and novel challenges it poses, but that he ceased to do so as the sheer number of disasters and misfires mounted up. He makes the point: "A Government that shows humility and honesty will retain the benefit of the doubt, but that runs counter to a ‘never apologise, never explain’ ethos. "
So true. 'Sorry' is one of the most powerful tools at the disposal of any leader (if genuine and if not over-used - and if leading to real improvement), but the more insecure and autocratic the leader, the more it feels to them like weakness to admit they have done anything wrong or failed in any way. I think of the way Martin Narey, my boss, used to go on the media immediately and admit that something that had just gone terribly wrong in prisons WAS indeed terribly wrong and could not be defended. He thus disarmed criticism before it was fairly launched. Johnson, and especially Trump, represent the polar opposite: never apologies. And boy! does that not work!
I was formerly Finance Director of the Prison Service and then Director of the National Offender Management Service responsible for competition. I also worked in the NHS and an IT company. I later worked for two outsourcing companies.
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