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Saturday, 3 May 2008

Listening and leading

After large local election losses, the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said his job was to listen and to lead. That is almost a contradiction in terms. Leaders lead and others follow. Someone who only goes where he thinks his followers want to go is no leader.

When he was London’s Mayor, Ken Livingstone listened to the wrong advisers. They attacked the Pink Triangle Trust for publishing something they did not like, and threatened to refer it to the Race Relations Board. I shall not be sorry to see the back of such advisers now that there is a new mayor in London.

The Pink Triangle Trust is a charity and acts responsibly as such.

The committee of the Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association is listening and leading, or so it says. Like Ken Livingstone, it is listening to the wrong people and leading in the wrong direction in wanting to become a charity.

Will it now take note of the likelihood of a government with a different view of the role of charities?

I doubt it. It wants to surrender its freedom of action in exchange for a dubious status and at some cost. Its freedom is something it will not be able to get back.

1 comment:

Diesel B said...

The GALHA committee would do well to heed Roy's wise words on the foolishness of seeking charitable status for GALHA. I recently had the pleasure of Roy's company during a restaurant meal in Kenilworth, during which he explained the benefits of the PTT and GALHA working in tandem with the PTT enjoying charitable status, while GALHA maintains a free hand in its campaigning activities.
This arrangement has worked well for many years, yet a handful of GALHA members, who have wormed their way on to its committee (not all of them elected, even), want to tear this up and start again. This will be most injurious to GALHA and the PTT and is riddled with dubious hidden agendas no doubt.
He may not be one of Humanism's bruising hard-hitters, but Roy's quiet and formidable intelligence should not only be heard, but heeded.