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The skill of the statesman is to distinguish situations in which ambiguity makes coexistence possible from those that will make the future more troublesome. In this respect, politicians who have steered world affairs through the financial crisis have not served us well.
Trams were phased out because they were inferior to buses as a means of public transport. They still are.
Always ask of data “what is the question to which this number is the answer?”. “Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation on a like-for-like basis before allowance for exceptional restructuring costs” is the answer to the question “what is the highest profit number we can present without attracting flat disbelief?”.
There are elements of classical tragedy in the rise and fall of Gordon Brown. A brooding, private intellectual is allied with a charismatic leader. The pair sweep triumphantly to power. But the intellectual nurses a grievance, over the public success of his colleagues. This festering resentment contributes to the destruction of both men. Eventually toppling his rival, our tragic hero holds the kingship for a brief, unhappy period.