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Anorak | After Grenfell: the revolting clamour for Theresa May’s tears and Corbyn’s embrace

After Grenfell: the revolting clamour for Theresa May’s tears and Corbyn’s embrace

by | 17th, June 2017

“This is what leadership looks like,” says one tweeter by a photo of Jeremy Corbyn hugging a woman after the Grenfell Tower horror. It looks like compassion. It looks like sympathy. But we’re being told that leadership looks like emoting in public. Leadership does not, say the tweeters, look like Theresa May. She doesn’t do public emoting. She does old-school stuff upper lip. Her problem is that even the royals don’t do that anymore. If there’s one thing Her Majesty learned from the Dianification of British society, it is that you must seen to be upset in public.

 

theresa may

Theresa May on Newsnight

 

So what has Theresa May been doing when she’s not declining the demand to sob on the telly, to wallow in an X Factor moment, when the camera draws close on the rheumy eyes, the crowd look sympathetic and we’re all manipulated by the visual grammar into voting with our hearts for not the most talented but the most needy, and in these therapeutic times thus the most deserving? Well, she visited the survivors in hospital, talked with the emergency services, met charity workers in St Clement’s Church, talked with Grenfell residents in Downing Street and organised an inquiry.

What does leadership look like, then? David Foster Wallace has an idea:

…a real leader is somebody who can help us overcome the limitations of our own individual laziness and selfishness and weakness and fear and get us to do better things than we can get ourselves to do on our own.

I don’t think May is a great leader. She fails to inspire. But she works and gets on with things. Jeremy Corbyn encourages laziness. He does not foster autonomy but strives for reliance and dependence.

Elie Wiesel has more:

…a true leader cannot function without those whom he or she leads. By the same token, the leader cannot work or live in their midst as one of them. Hence the ambivalence of his or her position. There must be some distance between the leader and those being led; otherwise the leader will be neither respected nor obeyed. A certain mystique must surround the leader, isolating him or her from those whose servant he or she is called upon to be or has been elected to be. Is there a leader, here or anywhere, who does not find time to complain about the terrible solitude at moments of decision?

May or Corbyn to lead? In time of crisis, who would you trust?

 

This is the letter:theresa may grenfell tower

theresa may grenfell tower

theresa may grenfell tower

 

 



Posted: 17th, June 2017 | In: News, Politicians Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink