Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Strong and stable leadership

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Strong leadership is not an end in itself. One wants to know where a putative leader intends to take us. The phrase "strong and stable leadership" is redolent of twentieth-century dictators, but surprisingly web searches turned up only more recent examples. There were hundreds of Mrs May references, of course, but also the following:

Australian Senator Pauline Hanson, whom even Paul Nuttall might reject as too extreme, praised Vladimir Putin's "strong" leadership;

"Strong and stable" is a favourite phrase of Hungary's Viktor Orbán. Typical is this extract from an address of last year, which (coincidentally?) also foreshadowed another of Mrs May's favourite themes:  “we need alignment of interests, reconciliation and cooperation. To this end, we need a large, strong and stable people’s party”; and

Also in Hungary, the leader of the nationalist and “radically patriotic Christian” Jobbik party Gábor Vona said: “The West is uncomfortable with the idea that Turkey will remain strong as long as Erdoğan is its leader. Turkey has a strong and stable government.”

So Conservatives who parrot the "strong and stable" message are aligning themselves with those who might be described as "elected dictators". Is this the future they see for the UK?

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