There’s no other way to put it. This is a difficult time.
There is a word. It’s overused, but look at it and use it, in the context it is defined for;
‘…either an event or period that will (or might) lead to an unstable and dangerous situation affecting an individual, group, or all of society…’
Looking back over the last couple of years and it’s clear, that the usual tools of crisis management don’t work anymore.
The mistake people make, with crisis planning, is to think ‘too narrow’.
That lesson was rammed home by the way HMG did crisis planning for a pandemic.
They looked at a narrow response to influenza, not at the wider impact of a novel virus.
Part of the reason we got into a mess was they were using old strategies for new events.
The situation the nation now faces is new and novel…
… energy prices have been weaponised and they will bankrupt businesses, close GP practices and destroy families.
We are completely unprepared.
The situation is caused because HMG and most of the rest of the world, decided to take a narrow decision and go to war with Russia.
The invasion of the Donbas, is wicked and unwarranted but there is more to worry about.
Kremlin strategists will have gamed two principle consequences and everything in between:
- Global indifference… like Crimea, carry on, annex what you want.
- Global defiance… expect an impact on banking, assets and the Rouble…
…in which case, bring gas and petroleum into play.
Create shortages, watch economies crumble, currency values erode, and political unrest erupt into protest and civil disobedience.
The next step is escalation.
As much as there is no response to all this, from HMG, it is the fault of the Tory Party, extending their incest for far longer than they needed, in their search for a leader and dumping, on us, a PM.
The protagonists provide a miserable choice and offer no viable solutions. The unpalatable truth is that nothing will have prepared them for this and neither has a viable plan.
For two people so keen to be identified with Thatcher and Churchill, they don’t have an ounce of leadership between them.
This is a genuine, copper-bottom, 24crt gold crisis.
Right now, subsidising fuel costs is about all they can do… a predictable, narrow-crisis response.
A root-cause analysis, the bread and butter of management, tells us, this is not a short-term situation and will not be resolved by subsidising fuel bills…
… because they are likely to have to be subsidised for years.
… if they lose the war, they win the battle for fuel…
… if they win the war, they win the battle for fuel…
... either way they can bankrupt half of Europe.
UK households face a £129bn increase in energy costs, that’s 5.1% of GDP and rising to 8.1%.
This means household energy costs will be greater than education spending and the defence budget… put together. No government can sustain subsidies like that.
Of course, there is no immediate alternative to ameliorating the predicament people, through no fault of their own, find themselves in… narrow crisis management.
But… what are the broader solutions?
- investment in alternatives
- reevaluation of strategic energy policy…
... time span… three to five years, probably longer.
Governments are only around for five years. This one, if it clings on, has about two left.
When a crisis comes knocking, governments that are prepared can be confident that no harm will come to anyone, because they have made their plans.
When a crisis comes knocking, governments that are unprepared can only scramble to do their best for as many as possible.
Un-prepared for novel Covid-19, there are now over 200,000 dead people to prove the theory.
Global disruption of fuel supply, accompanied by threats of war in Europe, is not something The Thatcher tribute-act, nor the Fat-Free-Smoothie have ever dreamed of.
They’re not prepared for the instability that comes next.
When leaders can’t lead through unstable times expect; delayed decisions, conflicts, low morale and reduced productivity.
Reestablishing success… an uphill struggle.
A visionless leader is an insecure leader… often self-centred and incompetent… they usually morph into controlling leadership… motivated by ambition.
What do we do?
… at a time of crisis ‘community’ stops being an abstraction and becomes reality.
Places where people trust each other, support each other and can rely on each other.
Places where there are facts, not rumours and practicality, not promises.
Workplaces, neighbourhoods and families take on a new significance. As does community ownership of national assets and services.
Communities, caring for each other and serving each other.
How? Community, like the spring, comes from the ground up.