Brave Enough to take the Blame

imagesSome lead with integrity – like all good leaders, they take the blame when things fall apart. There’s no winching distractions and sacrifice of scapegoats. In times of old, wars were fought with the leaders leading in the front. They were true warriors. They took the first blow. In modern leadership, the leader leads from the rear. No wonder they coined the term “Rear Admiral”. The lesser mortals were left to die while leaders hide in bunkers and protected by layers of secret police and armour. Can you respect such leadership?

When Greece voted όχι “NO” in the referendum, it was a sweet “yes” to democracy to the Greeks. In fact the echoes of όχι really sounded “delicious” in Japanese. It was a sweet and delicious moment. The financial fallout may not sound so sweet, but the consolation is that there is a sweet sense of satisfaction to be released from the tyranny of the Troika. Sometimes ideology prevails. Money is not everything.

The vote against the Troika was a victory for the Syriza party. It should have brought cheers to the hardline Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis. Instead, he took an unexpected decision and resigned. Here’s what he wrote in his blog (posted on July 6, 2015 by yanisv),

Minister No More!

The referendum of 5th July will stay in history as a unique moment when a small European nation rose up against debt-bondage.

Like all struggles for democratic rights, so too this historic rejection of the Eurogroup’s 25th June ultimatum comes with a large price tag attached. It is, therefore, essential that the great capital bestowed upon our government by the splendid NO vote be invested immediately into a YES to a proper resolution – to an agreement that involves debt restructuring, less austerity, redistribution in favour of the needy, and real reforms.

Soon after the announcement of the referendum results, I was made aware of a certain preference by some Eurogroup participants, and assorted ‘partners’, for my… ‘absence’ from its meetings; an idea that the Prime Minister judged to be potentially helpful to him in reaching an agreement. For this reason I am leaving the Ministry of Finance today.

I consider it my duty to help Alexis Tsipras exploit, as he sees fit, the capital that the Greek people granted us through yesterday’s referendum.

And I shall wear the creditors’ loathing with pride.

We of the Left know how to act collectively with no care for the privileges of office. I shall support fully Prime Minister Tsipras, the new Minister of Finance, and our government.

The superhuman effort to honour the brave people of Greece, and the famous OXI (NO) that they granted to democrats the world over, is just beginning.

Yanis Varoufakis took the hit. Was that a voluntary decision or one of political expediency, no one knows for sure. But he showed some mettle so lacking in leaders today.

Matthew 15:14
Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.


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