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Last night, Sir Ranulph Fiennes. His nationwide tour took him to the Sage Gateshead. A full house was gobsmacked by what made him the world’s greatest explorer, what explained his superhuman power of endurance and his fortitude. He was at pains to point out that he had not been alone crossing the Polar regions, in Columbian forests, white-water canoeing Class VI rapids on the Nile, in Aden’s civil war. Frostbite. Snakes and Spiders. Sniper bullets and improvised explosive devices, IEDs. He needed others he could totally rely on. His own life depended on it. So, he had to understand what motivated those who volunteered to join him. Motivation was everything.
He was explicit. He could not accept “the bad apple” . No way just to move it sideways, which he said was the way most people handled “bad apples” in the UK today. OUT.
I was in the audience and this provoked an early morning thought. Why didn’t we get rid of our “bad apples”? Liberté, Equalité, Fraternité. If you are not very careful these can be mischief words when translated into English.
I have shown how Liberty can be confused with Freedom – you can be at liberty but if you have a student debt on your back you will not be truly free.
Equality. You may naively be led to believe that all your rights are equal, but sometimes they conflict with the rights that others have, and the most you should seek is fair play. Demand too much, and you will for ever be disappointed.
But what about Fraternity? Not that it is all that much in evidence in a world full of conflict. It is there tho’. There is the National Society for Mutual Protection. NSMP. In Whitehall. In the legal profession. In political allegiances. There is a word for it, “Solidarity”. Are they there for the long game and on their merits?
“Solidarity” has its price. The future. Good or bad.
People should think about this, not least those who are choosing the next Prime Minister.
Can the chosen stay the course?