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Who unties the knot?

Oct 29,2018 - Last updated at Oct 29,2018

During the darkest hours of the United Kingdom at the outset of World War II, the British people chose Winston Churchill to be their prime minister. He successfully led his country to victory until the end. When the war ended, and negotiations among the victors to divide the war spoils were over, the conservative party chose Anthony Eden to replace Churchill in 1955. Eden later failed and served a short tenure, which came abruptly to end following the 1956 Suez campaign fiasco.

None doubted the capabilities of Eden who before 1955 had served three times as a foreign minister. Yet, he was no Churchill. His actions sealed power to the US and the Soviet Union, and assigned the UK a backseat driver status. 

On a sunny day, even a scared novice can manage. But on a foggy and dark night, on crowded and bumpy roads, you need skilled drivers to maneuver their respective vehicles to safety. A political risk can be taken on young, rookie governments on sunny weekend days, but not on hazardous roads and in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

The biggest syndrome of unfit governments is sloppiness. “Oops, how did that happen?”, “Sorry I was not aware”, “it is not my mistake” and “let us form an ad-hoc committee to investigate” are but examples of these sorry excuses.

We lost 21 people last week, mostly children on a school trip to Zarqa-Maeen valley, whose water channels into the Dead Sea. The schoolchildren were victims of a true Greek tragedy, where fate was the hunter. Some brave stories of epic proportions emerged, but in the final analysis, the whole epsilon caused His Majesty King Abdullah and the people of Jordan a great pain and a great sense of loss.

We have to believe that there is a shortage of leaders, a dearth of systematic organisational structures and that an overall deterioration in our public services is happening. A revamping should not be relegated to second priority pending regional developments or internationally convenient and more appropriate times.

We are in Jordan, institutionally, looking like a Gordian Knot; we need Alexander’s sword in the hands of King Abdullah to resolve our intractable problem as soon as possible.

The government has not reacted with high resilience to the crisis. However, its team has the capacity to do better in future emergencies. They should demonstrate their worthiness of the trust His Majesty and many people have in it.

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