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A Time of Statues and Statutes

1st, June 2010

Commuters that have recently had to spend more time than they perhaps originally envisaged at Heathrow - from delays either due to Nature-enforced delays of Volcanic Dust or Man-enforced of strikes - may well have taken the opportunity to contemplate the bizarre statue of the life-size Horse with a Lamp-Shade attached to its head standing in the Concorde Room at Terminal 5.

Now, for my part, travel to and from my home has been challenging, however, arriving home there is another bizarre statue to ruminate upon: the Giant Nude Pregnant Female, towering like a modern Colossus of Rhodes to the entrance of Fontvielle Port at Monaco, with half of the body bereft of skin, revealing the evolving new life form she carries.

Both statues attract the compulsion to gaze upon them because anything that is bizarre, out of the ordinary or absurd is compelling to look at. At such time we try to reason out what was in the sculpture or creators mind.

Both sculptures have been successful because both Statues have been placed in high-profile places and have won the highest accolade any creator demands: that of being contemplated, of making you see things differently, rather than just perceiving everyday mundane things. It is extraordinary things that provide the unexpected change in perspective.

This month the UK has elected a change in Government – not what was generally expected. Out of what was originally perceived as a two-horse race with one outsider, two horses won. The third was inevitably, albeit ceremoniously, shot (metaphorically speaking) by the media.

Similarly to seeing a thoroughbred Horse with a Lamp-Shade as a hat, this was not what was expected – certainly it demands a required change in perspective,  but if that is what it on view then we have to make it work.

This new Government, outwardly determined to be transparent is, again metaphorically speaking, willing to open up its ripening belly to reveal the creative Statutes it promises to give birth to during its term.

And the new two-horse team needs to be creative - as well as compelling - to stimulate the required change in perspective. Because whichever way you cut it, however positive or conservatively minded, the almost unanimous expectation for the next couple of years is that it is going to be exacting and tough.

The next two years will have to be a time of frugality, restricted budgets, for some there will be bleak times of unexpected austerity. But there is a clear silver lining in this dark cloud.

For although recessions – of which I have survived four – are certainly Man-made, they also provide the perfect opportunity to be the making of Man.

And history records that the very best of times for success have always been stimulated by the very worst of times. For it is only during challenging times do we demand answers to the burning questions so vital to any required change in our thinking and our perspective.

This is a time when each of us must become a own creator, sculpting our future with the best tools that each of us have available – our talents, our strengths, our commitment.

Applying the tools it has available, we expect an elected Government to do the very best it can and to strive to live up to the promises it makes to the electorate.

We only have very limited control over how they govern but each of us has full command when applying Self-government. With Self-government each of us must apply our unique tools with an expectation to create something to make a difference. Something that compels us to live up to the promises that we make to ourselves.

In doing so we can sculpt ourselves towards achieving what we really want. It may be bizarre, even absurd, but there is one thing we can be sure of. It will be a compelling performance that others respect and admire.

Now that is something worth contemplating.