• The Sharma Saga

    Harold Macmillan, when British Prime Minister, once tried to calm the nerves of a young MP who was about to make his first speech from the front bench. The young man had confessed that he did not relish having to address, at close quarters, the serried ranks of those whom he described as “the enemy”.

    “They are not the enemy,“ Macmillan advised him, “they are your opponents. Your enemies are behind you.”

    Macmillan was making a point that is often not understood by the public. In a parliamentary democracy, politics is two different games being played at the same time.

    One is a team game – one team against the other. But within each team, there are a number of other games, with individual team members vying with each other for recognition and preferment.
    And, given that politicians are often high achievers in their previous life, and accordingly have a high conceit of themselves, it is inevitable that, from time to time, an individual will feel that he or she is given inadequate respect and consideration by other team members.

    In such circumstances, the individual will sometimes lose sight of the team’s interests, and might even focus on harming the team’s prospects, as a form of revenge for what is perceived as a lack of respect from other team members.

    Those who have followed the Sharma saga might like to bear these thoughts in mind.

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