An odd thing happened this week on the political front. The leader of the country went missing, having just lost a vote on whether parliament supported her course of action. Mrs May has not been heard of since. The lost vote was on Thursday. She wasn’t even there to here the result, which I suppose is not a surprise. There’s only so much rejection any one person can take. She hasn’t even tweeted since Wednesday.
But if I look at this from a leadership perspective I wonder what Mrs May is thinking as a leader and what lies behind her going silent at this crucial point in proceedings. She could be taking the stance that no news is good news and that people are tired of her repeating the same message that she is battling for Britain and will keep on fighting the EU until the end, even though no progress has been made with her own party, let alone the EU. It has become a little tiresome after all.
She might be thinking that if she can just stay out of the headlines for a few days until she pops up in Brussels in a few days time where she can be seen to be negotiating and that will have bought her a bit more time; a little more running down of the clock to bring us a little bit nearer to the point where MPs might just have to agree with her, or face the disaster of a no deal exit from the EU.
Perhaps she’s ill and doesn’t want to appear weakened at this important time. Appearance matters in leadership, but everyone gets ill from time to time. It would be ridiculous to pretend otherwise. Or maybe she died and is about to be replaced by a double, and we’ll see an ever so slightly different Theresa May appear with a slightly different shaped nose and the conspiracy theorists can start to go to work.
Or maybe Mrs May has taken the opportunity to go on holiday for a few days. This was, after all, scheduled to be a week where Parliament took a recess, even though this has been cancelled. Maybe a few days of walking the hills, before the final six weeks of wrangling on all sides to achieve a deal. A chance to clear her head and to switch off from the circus, if only for 72 hours. We all need to take time out, to rest our minds and our bodies. To stop fighting on all fronts. And I think that would be reasonable this weekend, but not before communicating the fact. To just disappear on the back of a lost vote is to leave a void for speculation to enter in to, if only in my head.
Whatever the reason for our nation’s leader switching to radio silence without warning, it is undoubtedly an error. People need leadership and will fill the vacuum with someone else’s leadership if you, as a leader, are not providing it.
Oh, actually, I was forgetting, there isn’t anyone else in parliament demonstrating any leadership to fill the vacuum with.
Okay, fair enough, stay quiet Prime Minister. Let’s all take a break from thoughts of leadership for a few days and pick it back up again when you decide to put in an appearance. It’s only the future of the country at stake after all.