Bad luck comes in threes, according to IoD boss
Bad luck, like buses they say, comes along in
For the coalition government, it has been much worse than
that. From jerry cans to granny tax, from philanthropists' alleged
tax avoidance schemes through to understaffing at the UK Border
Agency over the Easter holiday.
Mr Cameron et al have had a pretty rough time of it. And
when I say et al I think the Chancellor has perhaps fared worse
than anyone in the political gaffe stakes.
You would think with all the budget that government has to
throw at public relations, marketing and damage limitation, it
would sail through these minor squalls like a catamaran in the
But events have taken on Titanic proportions. Even Mrs
Thatcher did not see the fully submerged iceberg known as the Poll
Tax. And it almost sank her government.
It is easy for us to sit in our ringside seats and jeer at
the combatants arm-wrestling with the media. We pontificate on how
things ought to have been handled as though we had a degree in
media studies. It has become the guillotine of modern life, as we -
knitting or perhaps gorging on cake, oh yes Marie Antoinette,
please let us have cake - delight in watching ever-more political
heads fall into the bucket of shame.
Bad luck indeed. But what of good luck? Some politicians
glide through life on a sea of popularity and like Ronald Reagan,
pictured right, - the Teflon President - nothing seems to
Not so Bill Clinton, but let's not go there lest we end up
discussing dry cleaning bills.
Luck has been wonderfully defined as preparation meeting
opportunity - which is different from being opportunistic. When
challenged by the American media with the assertion that he was a
lucky golfer, Gary Player gave this famous riposte: "Yes, and the
harder I practise, the luckier I get."
I have no advice to give the coalition. Sometimes I get
lucky and say just the right thing at the right time. Other times I
get it all wrong. I suppose it is this failure of humanity that
reminds each of us - even the greatest - that we are but mere men
and women. When we do enjoy success in life or business, it's a
cocktail of random circumstances - hard work, coincidences,
relationships, other people's misfortunes - all shaken together to
bring us a personal happy outcome.
Former Prime Minister Harold Wilson once asked: "Have you
ever noticed how we only win the World Cup under a Labour
I imagine that Mr Cameron will be hoping that London 2012
brings the same reflected glory after a truly miserable public