Opinion 3 minute read
At the end of Wagner’s Ring, Valhalla is ablaze and the rule of the gods is over. A new world order is about to commence…
We are living in similar times. The ossified first-past-the-post, two-party political system is on the verge of collapse and there is genuine enthusiasm (for the first time since the launch of the SDP in 1981 at Limehouse) about the emergence of a new politics. Across the country, party activists and elected councillors and MPs are having to wrestle with their consciences and decide whether they wish to defend the ancient regime or create something different and better.
In all aspects of life it takes courage to leave. Anybody who has set up a new agency will be familiar with the angst and anxiety lying awake in the early hours of the morning as your mind churns over whether you are making the right decision. The reality, of course, is that there are normally very good reasons why you want to leave and once the decision has been made you are baffled why you didn’t take the decision years ago!
The modern world is challenging, perplexing and often terrifying. Morality is no longer black or white. Absolutism has been replaced by a relativism which creates ever more paradoxes. Newspapers are full of commentators with strong views about virtually everything. Yet, there are just so many different views. Little wonder there is so much bemusement out there …
Change of circumstance. Collapse of the old order. Time to move on. Has there ever been a more restless mood seeping into every aspect of life? Doubtful, but out of this fluidity there is so much potential and opportunity.
As the old world order comes to an end there are two choices: Be crushed by Valhalla’s walls as they collapse on top of you or take your chance and create something different and new. This is what is so wonderful about the uncertainty that is engulfing us. The sky is the limit for anyone with ambition, confidence and self-belief.
Of course, in the real world, change rarely happens overnight. The decision by a small number of Labour and Tory MPs to turn their backs on their former parties certainly created a palpable frisson whilst it was happening. That will inevitably calm itself. Real change will only happen if a stream becomes a river and eventually a tsunami. Yet, it is undeniable that something tangible is happening. You can almost sense the rumblings under the body politic.
We all like the certainty and comfort of belonging. This is true whether the group is a large agency or a political party. Having the courage to break free is noble and courageous and deserves praise if even you don’t agree with the rationale for the action. Better to have tried to achieve your dreams and failed rather than never having even tried. Without the freedom of the human spirit there would be stasis and stagnation.
So let the old world collapse. Do not be afraid. Take courage and aim for the stars.
Wrtten by Peter Bingle, founder of agency Terrapin Communications