This week the UK Chancellor, George Osborne, warned that Britain has run out of money, in news that would have left many readers cold.
The UK is seen as a leading nation and if their financial margins are such, then it brings into stark focus the economic dilemma that much of the world is facing.
Yet I was strangely glad to read the article and the following comments by Osborne. He said, “The British Government has run out of money because all the money was spent in the good years. The money and the investment and the jobs need to come from the private sector.” [emphasis mine]
I wasn’t glad to read it for any furtive, conspiratorial reasons or from an angry, anarchist perspective.
I was glad to read it because it might help us all realise that the government – any government – is not the answer to all of our problems. No government can give us all we need, or find solutions to all of the dilemmas we face, or fulfil our every want.
The view of government as saviour, or at the very least, as assuming surrogate responsibility for our lives, has grown slowly but surely. We want governments to stop us hurting ourselves, to stop us getting offended, and to make sure we are healthy, happy and prosperous.
That’s a big call. It’s an expensive call. Ultimately, it’s unfulfillable.
The way to build a strong, resilient and prosperous community is to have a strong, resilient and prosperous private sector. Government has a role to play, but it’s to build a secure stage rather than be the leading character. It’s the private sector on whom the story depends, and for that we need individuals ready to play their part.
We need individuals who value character over charisma.
We need individuals who accept personal responsibility rather than blame-shift.
We need individuals who take the initiative to build caring communities, rather than live self-centred lives.
We need… to be those individuals.
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