Queen’s Courage to Do What’s Right is Real Leadership, Says PATRICK O’FLYNN | Patrick O’Flynn | Columnists | Comment

In Britain, there have certainly been times when Prime Ministers have strongly advised monarchs what the public expects of them – the abdication crisis and the consequences of Princess Diana’s death come to the fore. spirit.

Yet right now it appears the UK has a monarch who not only still performs his ceremonial duties but also has a deeper appreciation for what real leadership entails than his Prime Minister. .

News that the Queen, with regret, canceled a planned Christmas lunch at Windsor Castle for 50 of her family because she was determined to set a shining example for her subjects as the Omicron wave strikes with terrible timing , is not really surprising.

She is, after all, the woman who obeyed the social distancing rules demanded of the population to the letter by sitting alone at the funeral of her beloved husband, the Duke of Edinburgh.

Only a few hard-hearted souls would have complained if the rules had been altered to allow one of her children to sit with her for such a heartbreaking moment. But duty was his watchword, maintaining public confidence his priority, and no exemptions were requested.

The same can hardly be said of Boris Johnson or his entourage, who have been caught repeatedly flouting the lockdown restrictions they imposed, most egregious during a string of Christmas parties ago. is one year old, which we are only learning now.

Earlier this year, Mr Johnson also briefly attempted to exempt himself from the ‘ping’ regime his administration imposed on the rest of us after inadvertently coming into contact with someone infected with Covid.

An uproar forced him to turn around, but he still showed a tendency to be more lenient to his allies than to ordinary citizens.

One case in point involved longtime and well-connected Conservative MP Owen Paterson, who was the victim of a sordid House of Commons investigation. Instead of authorizing the imposition of the penalty owed, Mr Johnson tried to tear up the rules on parliamentary standards and get out of the game.

This week’s by-election in North Shropshire shows where such madness is heading. A once rock solid Conservative seat has turned its back on the party.

So, for now, Mr Johnson could do a lot worse than emulate His Majesty when it comes to self-discipline and stellar levels of personal responsibility – not necessarily traits that come naturally to him.

In his time at No.10, he has already accomplished a lot. Millions of Brexit voters will always be grateful for his courage in facing and defeating a political power determined to thwart the democratic verdict of the referendum.

Even then, he was found to have broken the rules, such as when his prorogation of Parliament was ruled illegal by the Supreme Court.

His bold move to set up a UK crack vaccine task force rather than join the heavy EU agenda has also necessitated the repeal of normal Whitehall rules. This has given Britain a valuable head start in vaccinating its vulnerable population.

The difference back then was that Mr Johnson was seen to go the extra mile on our behalf, rather than himself and his own circle. He needs to pick up on that idea and refocus on his main mission of leveling Britain. This will require a more disciplined approach to governance in 2022 and a clearly defined strategy to get the country back on track.

Being the political leader of a nation as divided as ours has been in recent years was never going to be easy. Add the trauma of Covid and any prime minister should have struggled. Yet the Queen has seen worse for nearly 70 years on the throne and has never once wasted this vital quality of near universal respect.

Over the past two years, she has indeed been preparing to demote her favorite son and favorite grandson because of their conduct putting the institution she heads in difficulty. No one should doubt that this will have caused him deep sadness. Nor that it took courage and tenacity to do the right thing.

This leadership thing is not easy. But if Her Majesty – who has never chosen such a path for herself – can master it, then voters have every right to expect politicians who aspire to the highest office to do the same.

“The duty and maintenance of the public’s confidence were his priority”


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