There is a crisis in politics right now not just nationally in Britain but in Europe, America, North Africa and other places. Some believe the crisis lies in the failure of democracy to hold politicians to account as they either fail to get a grip on the economic situation or in Egypt where the population believes the military government has not truly listened to their demands.
But in my opinion there appears to be a simpler crisis, one that causes chaos from the top down and that is the lack of a truly influential leader. In this time of great change and upheaval no one has stepped up to the plate – no politician has moved the population and had the strength to be a powerful individual.
David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband are all from the same mould of career politicians with a private education and who follow the party lines. Britain has failed to deliver what we need in this once in a generation opportunity, a strong leader who is ideologically committed to a cause rather than just pandering to the public for votes.
The best two examples of these kinds of leaders in the last 70 years are Margaret Thatcher and Mohatma Gandhi. Both faced extremely different challenges, Margaret Thatcher was faced with keeping a country running whilst Gandhi was faced with freeing his country. Margaret Thatcher crushed all opposition whilst Gandhi championed non-violence. Politically they are almost opposites but what makes them so similar is that they were strong enough to stay committed to the cause even when their closest allies criticised them.
Another aspect our leader to possess is charisma. A crowd should have to stop and listen to them, when was the last time a leading politician said something profound and made you pause for a moment to absorb what they had just said? I will admit just being charismatic is not the only facet the leader needs, they need to be relatable, be it to the over-paid banker who will try to fund them and control them, to the protester in the street who will vote for them or to the small family trying to get a loan. Whoever they are they need to seem real and human, perhaps not even like the dream politicians put forward in Hollywood films but someone who breaks the mould of being privately educated and having a very moneyed background.
What we don’t need are leaders that just damn the opposition and play children’s games. Ed Balls consistently criticises the Conservatives whilst his party appear to lack a solid manifesto. George Osborne constantly talks about a comprehensive plan to succeed in the economic wilderness of now but provides no details. Whilst Nick Clegg and Vince Cable are left in the wind as they are seen to be sell-outs in order to get into politics.
Perhaps a new generation of politicians are needed, not necessarily ones just graduating from university after studying politics but people the age of Cameron that went into the real world of work rather than politics. People with life skills and personalities that the public can relate to. The time is now for a new leader, they may not be liked, they may not be nice but in times like this it may be a matter of the lesser evil.