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Thought Piece – 2 & 3 Political inertia

Inertia of innovators

Whilst there are those who undoubtedly benefit from action, there are those who equally benefit from in-action.

According to Machiavelli those who are at most risk are the innovators he wrote, ‘… innovators are at most risk because they stand in a precarious place challenging those who have historically benefitted from the status quo’. Innovators are also at risk from those who are uncertain whether or not they will benefit from the new regime and finally, they are at risk from those who wish them to go further and faster but they will be equally scathing if it fails.

The status quo is therefore allowed to persist as no one wishes to be innovative.

A recent political example of this was Gordon Brown’s Government Of All The Talents (GOATS). This innovation was very risky and in the end it failed to achieve the desired effects. Notwithstanding this, it was a masterstroke of political manoeuvring.

Our new Premier David Cameron has also adopted this approach and has taken this principle to a new level.

The fear of Precedents

The fear of precedence is the fear that if you act fairly and justly today; in the future, you will be called on to act as fairly and as justly as you had previously done. The fear of precedent is therefore the fear of the known unknown. In politics we know that it is difficult to effectively extrapolate from one situation to another.


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