In the last week, we have seen two example of the arrogance of leadership; on both occasions David Cameron has unilaterally decided that the considered opinion of a group of experts is wrong and his snap judgement is right. Of course he is not the only example of this sort of thinking – most Prime Ministers of the past have committed the same sort of error of judgement.
The two decisions in question were the response to the Leveson report, and today’s report on the future of recreational drug legislation. In both cases, people have gone to a considerable effort to consider what to do about certain issues. And of course have spent a lot of my money on doing so.
I do not resent my money being spent on such things; what I do resent is that some puffed up politician is wasting my money by not spending an appropriate amount of time considering the report(s).
A snap decision is necessary in some circumstances, but not in these circumstances! There should be nothing wrong with a political leader saying that they would like to spend some time considering the report – rather than respond with gut instinct to the report’s headlines.
Ripping up a report within hours of it being released is contemptuous of the work that has gone into it, and wasteful of taxpayers’ money.
It may well be that ignoring the report’s recommendations is the right thing to do, but to do so too quickly is definitely the wrong thing to do.