Monday, May 31, 2010

Ploughing Through the Bank Holiday

Bank Holiday Mondays feel a bit odd when you don't have a proper job. `Should I be working',I ask, knowing that nobody will be paying for my slice of National Leisure. Peer pressure won when the children appeared with swimming gear in my study at half-nine and five hours later the in-tray feels... less compelling.

There were plenty of grown-up around today so I swam a mile in the pool, my first time out since I completed a rather long triathlon before Ruby was born in 2006. I forgot how hypnotic it can be, the rhythm overcoming all thought. Unlike running, swimming doesn't leave you gasping but imbues you with the deep muscular tiredness you get from a massage. It also leaves you with a few hours of endorphins which even quite intense running doesn't achieve for me these days. I

I diary in a swim every Thursday evening from now on, half-knowing it won't happen but enjoying the intention. The pool is one place where my body doesn't feel 41. No wonder the oldies love it so. I even check online for my nearest triathlon event this summer. There's one up the road in July. Bit of practice on the bike and I'll be there. Then I realise that this won't happen. I'm away in the camper with the kids. Probably where I am meant to be. But it was nice to pretend otherwise, for a short while.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Shifting Values

`Is that chair safe to sit on?` asked Prince Phillip when visiting a Mencap furniture workshop recently. I had to laugh, although I was probably supposed to show concerned disapproval as the story was related. But it was the funniest thing I had heard in days so I didn't hold back.

We are in strange days as far as norms and standards are concerned. Today I learnt that David Laws, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, is in trouble over expenses. Turned out he didn't want his friends and family to know he was gay so pretended his boyfriend was his landlord and claimed rent. Laws is 44 and says he didn't want people to know. Even though times have changed, he says he grew up keeping it quiet and wanted to keep it that way.

Being 41, I can sympathise with Laws on one level. Nobody admitted to being gay in 1986 unless you were Danny Larue or Holly Johnson. Gay friends my own age tend to be low-key about it, even now. There's still a tinge of fear somehow. Today, thankfully, kids - middle class ones anyway - discuss it with their parents and each other. Indeed, I would hope Wilf or Ruby could, rather than feel alone or ashamed.

I hope Laws survives, though I fear he might not. I wish he had felt able to be be open with those close to him and not got himself into a mess. He is wealthy and never needed the money - and the claims were pretty low. It would be a terrible waste of the talents of capable and essentially honest man.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Its Academic

The Coalition is wasting no time. Today all Heads received a letter from Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Education, that they can now, if they choose, look to become independent of the local authority.

As a school governor and Chairman-designate of a local school, this is music to both mine and the Head's ears. Last night, the Governing body met to discuss a new 10 year vision for the school. The three words are Community, All-Round-Excellence and Different. Our biggest aspiration is to be far more adventurous with the curriculum. We want our children to learn and pass exams, sure, but we don't want to be restricted to formats which actually hold many of our children back. We want our children to THINK, to interact and learn how to function. We want proper links to companies, to people in our communities. Schools have become cordoned-off. Even Councillors need 'safeguarding' training to be allowed near the place. In pursuit of safety, we have lost trust. We all aspire to a different future.

Key to this is throwing off the monkey of our local education authority. This is an expensive adjunct to our system that sucks away money while adding very little value that I can see. All that I as a Governor see are documents written by expensive people which we have to `pass' as a committee. Well, I am sorry, Eton doesn't work like that so why should my school? Myself and the head want to take the school into a new place, one free of local authortity nonsense. My own party is more enthusiastic about the role of LEAs. I do not share this view, unfortunately. I see a commissioning role and that's that. Ten people max, not the current - which runs into the hundreds.

Full Council tomorrow. With a shocking financial settlement it will be interesting to see how things are shaking out. Everyone is bought into `doing thing differently'. But nobody has a clue what that means. What I think it means is everyone working a lot harder, faster and with less of the usual faffing about. And all for less money, a smaller pension and less time allowed for sickness.

Welcome to the real world, comrades.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I hate to say it but George Osborne is right

Saw the news yesterday and found myself nodding along with George Osborne. What the world coming to eh? Had just come off the phone to a Councillor mate of mine who said, quite rightly, that this is what we've all voted for - and we need to remind them of that once the pain comes.

I was struck recently by an excellent Sunday Times piece by the academic Alison Wolf. Her view is that all this public sector reform is buggered if we don't get rid of national pay agreements, the pensions set-up and the juggernaut of legislation which locks costs into the way many things are done in the public sector (take `Safeguarding' as a very good example of high costs).

As someone who represents the users of public services, primarily - though I know a lot of people also work in them - I am concerned that the price will be paid disproportionately by users and not staff in the form of lower wages and reduced terms and conditions. In the public sector, you get a pension that is pushing two thirds what you earned if you pay in for a whole career. You can take off six months sick on full pay and you get paid the same whether you work in Guildford or Glasgow. All of this needs to be challenged and we can't do it from local authorities. We need the centre to make this happen, even if it means we have teachers nurses and coppers marching down Whitehall.

In Suffolk we are in brace-position for the imminent crash down to earth after seven years of being pumped up on Gordon and Alistair's budgets. Even last year, Suffolk recruited 1800 staff. Now we will hardly be recruiting anybody and deciding where the hammer will fall. While the public voted for it they won't be happy to see their new school buildings cancelled and their roads left unrepaired. But that's where we are just now.

Following this last election I now so crave sensible, far-sighted governance and hope, in this coalition, we get a bit of it. I believe that Labour are now out of the game for at least ten years - and deserve to be. I hate to say it but Thatcher was right when she said that Labour Governments always, in the end, spend us into trouble. This one was no exception.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Back in Business

Some wag once said that having a young family is like running a small business with your ex-girlfriend.

I say this because I am in the process of preparing to go into business. Yes, guys I am at it again. I know I said I wouldn't but here I am. It's not that I am a `born entrepreneur' or any of that bollocks. And my demons are more or less sorted now, it's just a) that I can't get revved up about of the jobs around just now and b) that I am still attracted to the space that currently sits untouched - I want to make my difference.

This time is different to the last. I have six months before my money runs out. Last time I could mess around for a year. Also, I was invisible before and young enough to get over it if I screwed-up. This time I would fail publicly, risk my mortgage and possibly never be offered a decent job again.

So why am I doing it? Well, I have weighed it all up and come to the following conclusions. Firstly, if I fail I don't actually think I will be untouchable. I have enough cred to carry me into another life, as long as I behave well. Secondly, I think people will admire me trying, even if I don't succeed. And thirdly, I want to do it - or at least try. I don't want to look back in regret. If I do end up in a big CEO job working for someone else I want to be able to say that I chased the dream before settling for the safe option.

I won't go on about my plans yet as they are still embarrasingly ill-thought out. But I think I am onto something. My principal fears concern not the quality of my ideas or my native abilities but being able to summon the energy, time and focus to pull it all off. My biggest weakness is the dispersal of my time - kids, the council, speaking, coaching, running, Trusteeship. All things I love. How I pull off a new business without losing some or all of this is the circle I somehow need to square.

Answers on a postcard please... But whatever happens, I feel a big need, at 40, to follow my true north, whatever that is, however the risks look. I am blessed with my health, a great network and people who will, if it all goes wrong, stand with me, financially as well as emotionally.

You can't really ask for more than that.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Notes from a Small Island

Hello from Jersey! I am here courtesy of Jersey Citizens Advice Bureau as the guest speaker at their AGM. Being a `Third Sector' Columnist gets me to some unusual places. It all started as was staring at my empty post-CEO in-try in April I get an email from the CEO of the Bureau saying he likes my column will I come and speak? We quickly agree terms and here I am. For once I am not riding solo and Katy is along the ride, leaving the youngsters with Granny.

So what of Jersey? With my own knowledge limited to 80s TV hit `Bergerac', I had to go into research mode - and what I found was actually rather interesting. 90,000 people live here. Half are indiginous, half immigrants. Many British but lots of Poles and Portugese. Very much `two-nations' with a wealthy mainstream paying on average 360,000 pounds for a home and lots of people eking out on minimum wage. Financially, although full of the super-wealthy who pay low taxes, they are having a recession here with public services being cut back up to 5% a year for the next two years.

Which makes the politics fascinating. This is, for all intents and purposes, an independent country, with, since 1204, its own 53-strong Parliament - the `States of Jersey' and a distinct legal system. There is no party-system so its a Parliament of `independents' with all the benefits and troubles that brings. The Government here runs every aspect of what both local and national government administer in the UK. All 53 politicians are full-time. Some are elected on the basis of locality, others are cross-Island. It is a bit like having a statelet based on the City of Cambridge - which raises challenging questions to sceptics of ultra-devolution. If it works here, at this scale, why not, say a virtually independent Manchester or Suffolk?

I hear more from my host, the CEO of Citizens Advice, Francis le Gresley who is standing in a by-election for senator. Elected island-wide he is up against 8 others, including someone currently going through the courts, essentially for saying things he oughtn't about other people on the Island. Because he doesn't have a party machine Francis has to run his own campaign and, somehow, craft a message that targets his core vote (essentially the less well-off) while not putting off the comfortable middle.

On probing I find that while there isn't a party-system there are distinct groupings. The left is the smallest, the centre is substantial but lacking leadership and the right is in control. Given what the Island is up against, Francis is firmly of the view that all strands need to work more closely together to reach agreement on the difficult choices ahead.

The AGM itself goes well. It's well-attended and Francis is clearly a respected figure as 20 year CEO of Citizens Advice here. My bit goes down well. I have come to enjoy public speaking and seem now to be doing more and more. It's in a strange space between story-telling and stand-up. You need to hold on to your audience and you don't always know yourself where this is going to take you.

I have a visual `show' - some slides with photos on - which I often use - but each time is always very different to the last. Depending on the audience. This particular group appeared very formal, a bit older and disproportionately female. No swearing I immediately decided. A couple of gags about the Island's local newspaper and we were away, followed by questions and a lot of chat afterwards. I sell 8 copies of my book and people seem to go away happy.

Afterwards, out with Francis, who spent a career in banking before taking over the CAB 20 years ago, I ask him about what makes Jersey special. He cites the sea and the values of the place, which he seeks, through his candidacy, to uphold. I wish the future senator luck before bidding goodnight.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Don't Take this Personally Portsmouth Fans...

But I don't believe you should be in a Cup Final. As a club, you're 140 million in debt. Portsmouth FC represents the very worst in Premier league financial skulduggery and excess. Rightly the club was docked 9 points by the Premier League and relegated. It should also have been removed from the Cup and your place given to the last club you beat before your shocking financial problems came to light (probably a better-run club that wasn't willing to spend irresponsibly to beat you).

Now I hate Chelsea as much as the next person. But I hope they win today - and by a wide margin. For Portsmouth to win the Cup is a triumph not of courage over adversity or heroism but a triumph of everything that is bad about football in this country. And Portsmouth were still at, even when their debts were in the public domain, scrabbling around to pay money to sign bonus agreements and god knows what to highly talented players they have no right to have playing for them.

I support a boring but well run club that struggles every year to stay in the Prem. We don't buy flash players and we develop the ones we have got. We're about the size of Portsmouth. We don't get into Finals nor will we ever win the League. That is sad and says important things about the way football in England has gone. But it doesn't excuse what Portsmouth have done and their victory today would, for me, be the wrong outcome, not the David versus Goliath that we are being sold by the media.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Personalisation - Why it Matters in Cameron's Britain

`Personalisation’—where people are allocated their own personal budget to spend on the public services of their choice—is a hot topic among the UK’s think-tanks at the moment. But what’s driving it? What are its possibilities and pitfalls? And what does it mean for charities?

Personalisation hit the UK in the 2000s , driven almost single-handedly by the philosopher and social entrepreneur Simon Duffy and his pressure-group `In Control’. Duffy persuaded the UK Department of Health to try personal budgets in social care for older people and those with learning and physical disabilities, as an alternative to direct state provision.

Duffy’s argument was simple: The UK spends £20 billion (30 billions US dollars) on people who need help to live independently, 40% of which is tied up in `transaction costs’—bureaucracy in other words. Added to this was the fact that outcomes for these people were, at best, mediocre. So, Duffy argued, why not move to a system which cuts out the middle-man, costs less and results in greater user satisfaction?

Sceptical of Duffy’s claims, the UK Department of Health ran pilots in 2006-08 which proved Duffy to be right—now 30,000 UK citizens are in receipt of a personal budget.

Progress by 2010, however, has been slower than anticipated. The local authorities that control funding for individuals have taken a long time to reboot their systems to allow people to get their money out. There have been wide variations in the rate of roll-out ,suggesting that in many areas the local authorities don’t actually really buy into the policy—not a huge surprise as evidence shows that once people get their hands on a personal budget they often stop buying services from the state!
But this may soon change.

Up till now, growth in UK public spending has meant that life has been able to carry on undisturbed in Britain’s sclerotic public sector. Soon, however, the taps will be turned off—creating a huge driver for cost reduction. As a low-cost alternative to traditionally provided public services, personal budgets suddenly make a lot more sense

Personalisation is, of course, about more than budgets. It is also about creating a more customized or `personalised’ version of public services. At the moment, if you’re unlucky enough to rely heavily on public services in the UK, you will find that they are a bit like the first of Henry Ford’s motor cars: You can have whatever colour you like—as long as it is black! In an age when we have become used to sitting by a mouse and tailoring our experience as a traveler or purchaser, the public services experience feels Neolithic.

The biggest advances towards something resembling a normal customer experience have come from Conservative councils such as Barnet. Also known as `Easy Council’, following its adoption of the model of customer service showcased by the airline easyJet, the basic council service is free—but can be augmented or made quicker by customers who are willing to pay a bit more. This keeps the council’s own service cheap and enables any `extras’ to be funded by the citizen. While criticised in some quarters, ‘Easy Council’ is highly popular with its citizens and other UK councils are adopting the model.

So what does personalisation mean for charities? One clear change is that they will increasingly need to reach out directly to users, rather than upward towards the public bodies commissioning services on users’ behalf. What users say and think will have to be taken seriously lest they do what they haven’t yet had the opportunity to do—vote with their feet.

This can only be healthy. The problem with charities in the UK so far has been that, in the final analysis, they have only needed to impress the people giving them funding —either the public or public sector commissioners. Tugging on the heartstrings has tended to be just as effective as performance data, even with sophisticated investors.

But as personal budgets take hold, we will get a much better idea of the impact of certain types of charities without the need for complicated impact-assessment tools—you will just need to observe the traffic of users between the various charities. For social care charities, this will be no bad thing.

Are there any drawbacks with personalisation? Undoubtedly, yes. One obvious one is that by individualising budgets, it is very easy to reach a position where popular services are quickly rendered financially unviable by the withdrawal of just a small number of clients. This has reportedly happened in a number of locations across the UK. Finding ways to enable users of personal budgets to `club together’ their funding to maintain or create new collective provision have not yet been found.

Another limitation is around economies of scale. Big services, while often low quality, are affordable and keep people safe and occupied, often with their peers in a setting that they are familiar with. Breaking down the budget for that service often means the individual can afford a lot less out there in the marketplace, leaving them without a service for at least part of the time.

A final limiter concerns the practicalities of personal budgets. A person with complex learning and physical disabilities will often command a personal budget in excess of £150,000 a year (250,000 US dollars). Managing this funding and all the risks incumbent in running what is, in effect, a small business, will challenge even the most capable and committed families. When a family has neither the time, ability nor inclination to do this, personal budgets look like a recipe for trouble.

However I am, after 20 years of my life working in charities alongside disabled people, very positive myself about personalisation. While it isn’t a perfect solution—and there isn’t one—it is preferable to both the waste of money and potential of a system in which the state both controls and consumes the funding intended to improve the lives of our citizens.

60% of seats, 60% of votes - the Tory - Lib Dem Coalition Has to Happen!

The news is full of talk about a `progressive alliance' of Libs, Labs, Nats and Greens. Silly talk. Added together, this rainbow coalition barely gained 50% of votes. And look where they were - all north-west of a line between the Exe and the Humber. Most of England would rightly feel cheated by such an outcome. Plus, of course, we'd have another unelected Prime Minister. Again, totally unacceptable.
Finally, this rainbow would be unstable and incapable of agreeing to tackle the deficit. As David Blunkett said on the radio this morning, this would be a total disaster for all taking part and Labour should accept it lost and go into opposition. It's their own fault. Had Gordon introduced AV before the election, the situation would have opened up for Labour. But for all his talk of constitutional change when coronated in 2007 he did nothing.

As a Liberal Democrat, I believe we have to walk our talk and get involved in a coalition with the Tories. Not confidence and suppy - coalition. AV is now on the table. As is the Pupil Premium, fairer taxes, a fixed-term agreement and Cabinet places for Lib Dems. Nick Clegg has played a blinder. To enter a coalition is to deliver the balanced governemtn people asked for. Us as part of a coalition takes the scarier edge off the Tories. For every IDS or Howard there will be a Cable or Laws. This has to be democracy in action.

Of course, electorally it is dangerous. Labour will be able to brand us as cutters and will steal votes from our left-leaning supporters. Vote Lib Dem Get Tory will be their big message in 2014 and yes we will pay. But a possible outcome in 2014, under AV, will still be a reasonable Lib Dem presence that Labour may need - so they may have to temper their fire, given that their position in the South of England is so dire and the path back to government so long. Labour's task is made even harder if we go down to 500 constituencies.

Notwithstanding all of this, the current situation brings into focus the question of what politics and political parties are for. Which is to represent interests and create a political settlement. A Tory-Lib Dem coalition has just under 60% of voters behind it and near-on 60% of seats. Were we on the continent it would be viewed as a viable and natural coalition.

So let's just get on with it.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Way Forward for the Lib Dems

A bad night for the Lib Dems. After all that hope, a lower seat-count than last time. I believed that the Clegg boost was soft but not quite as soft as it turned out. However, 23% is respectable and we were tanking along on 18% till the debates so Clegg can take small solace from that.

So what now? Mandelson and others are now talking about progressive coalitions and electoral reform. The trouble is that this doesn't produce a majority and, if Clegg accepts, he looks like the ultimate pol. The accusation of a coalition of the defeated would stick and I don't think we should even contemplate it, even with a commitment to PR.

So it's then about the Tories. The truth is that they can govern alone with 310 seats. Given that Cameron will refuse point-blank on voting reform we will probably enter an agreement on deficit reduction and other key stability measures - but something far short of a coalition. Something a bit like the Lib-Lab pact of the late 70s perhaps. While this will keep Nick Clegg out of the Cabinet, it will effectively act as a check on the zanier aspects of the Tory manifesto including their planned gerrymander of the voting system with 500 equal sized seats elected using FPTP.

A Conservative government with some of the rough edges hewn off seems like a fair result to me. They got more votes than Labour did in 2005 and will need to govern with some care to their small majority. Indeed, we might not be their only problem as the influx MPs may be more independent-minded than the people they replaced.

Either way, I believe its Prime Minister Cameron, no seats in the Cabinet for the Lib Dems and a functioning minority government with Lib Dem support on key legislation which we can support (with likely amendment).

Personally I am comfortable with this. From a pure political point of view, I don't think being a very weak coalition partner is sensible as we would end up being blamed for a lot of the future discontent without being the main architect. This government will probably have a hard time at the polls next time and we may be better waiting till 2014 when Labour recover a bit and we can build our position to 80 or more seats. Then go for a deal - probably with Labour - but possibly with a weakened Tory party - in which either will have no option but to give us PR.

But that's going too far ahead. For today, its a Conservative minority government. I am worried, but I also wish them well. We're in a tricky place as a country and we need a year or two of very good steerage.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Missing It

Until this week I have felt nothing but relief from handing over the brass cannonball of responsibility of CEO to somebody else. Then today, I was driving along and, for the first time, felt a bit rueful, disconnected and on my own. Organisations are communities, social systems. As CEO you sit at the apex, shaping and being shaped by the tangle of interactions going on. While it is often dysfunction and beyond control, it is also absorbing and part of you, as you, as CEO, are a pulsing corner of the organism.

Since leaving I have actually been haring around as much as ever. Not earning a great deal of money (just over half of the usual in April) but being busy. In May I have gone down a notch and, as happens with me, my energy has suddenly dipped. This week everything has been an effort. I've still got a lot done and had some fun - but it's felt a bit colder and harsher than it did in April. I lost a couple of meeting which wouldn't have gone if I'd still been a Chief and I am having to get used to working harder to get people to see me.

Overall though, it's working well. I am drumming up an idea for a venture which may or may not fly but I am giving it a good run-out. A job feels like it could happen and if, say, a third child came along, I may have my hand forced. Up till today, a job felt like the last thing I wanted. Tonight, a bit knackered and struggling to manage all of my own paperwork the thought of a salary, a PA and a big organisation to pull to my bosom feels sort of nice.

Time to see what's happening in the election...

Why we must stop the Gerrymander

Whatever happens today it is fairly clear that this is the last day of Labour government for some time. In it's place will be a Tory-dominated one - either alone or with Lib Dem support.

This could also be the last election in this country in which it is possible to actually elect anything otherthan a Conservative govern
ent. Why? Not because we are going to get PR but because the Tories plan to equalise constituencies in size and move to 500 MPs from he current 650. While nobody has done the mapping of this yet, what this actually produces is a huge weighting in the system to the Tories. City constituencies include more suburbs and countryside. England - where the Tories are strongest - gains versus Scotland and Wales. And the south gains massively over the north. Add First Past the Post and you have created a Tory state that will make us look more like Japan -where the ruling party has been in power virtually unbroken since 1945 - than a multi party pluralistic democracy.

Cameron's credentials as a progressive, reforming leader are, for me, utterly shallow. His willingness to entrench and render voiceless even more people than is the case today show him for what he really is. If you are serious about empowermnent, locAlism and the good, fair society you have to start by giving people a voice that counts and fair votes. Cameron's proposed reforms take us back in terms of the franchise and I da only hope that he hasn't got the numbers to push this through. My prediction for today is 37, 29, 26 with the Tories scraping a tiny majority due to the marginals. Let's see.

Monday, May 3, 2010

One Nil to the People

Occasionally, as a Councillor, you score a quick, emphatic and satisfying result. Amid all the slow-burners, there is the odd firecracker. One such was last week. On the Monday I had a call from a distressed woman from my patch with a terminal illness saying she'd just been told she was losing a small but significant chunk of care. What's more she told me the council were holding out the possibility of a care-home if she didn't go along. I went round to check her story and managed to corroborate this with her advocate, her GP and a third party from a charity.

I got the wheels in motion that day with a polite email to the director of social care suggesting that this maybe wasn't such a good idea, particularly given that this lady's needs were, if anything, going to get worse very soon. Within 24 hours, the lady was called at home and informed that there was never a plan to cut her hours and that these were merely ideas, not solidy proposals. A call to her advocate put this right. Things were moving swiftly along and thank-you Councillor, it clearly made a big difference that you put in that call.

Now I know that Suffolk, like all places, has some ugly cuts to make. But crafty, nasty cuts meted out to people who they believe aren't going to bite back are not really on. While Councillor's are the pond-life of Britain's political scene, we are probably its most powerful Advocates.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

On the Stump

Three hours today knocking doors for the Lib Dems on my Patch. This work is always best done in twos and I am accompanied by an energetic pensioner Martin who is still knocking out half marathons in his late 60 s. It's the day after the final debate and as I expected our immigration policy isn't playing well. A few say it has put them off. Although Bury has few immigrants people tend to worry about the issue almost as much as the economy. It comes up at every other door. The policy itself electorally speaking, while honest and imaginative is like cyanide on the doorstep. Personally I would prefer a much safer line if we are serious about winning middle England.

The good news today was that there is little real enthusiasm for the Tories. Although Cameron won the final debate, comfortably I felt, they don't appear to have the necessary traction to win outright. It's feeling like 36 30 28 with us just ahead of Labour, who appear to have lost respect. Locally they risk fourth place behind the Greens.

Also encouraging were the numbers who said they were definitely with us thus time. Although Cleggs early impact has waned the debates have irreversably changed the election into a three way race. Locally the Tory MP David Ruffley has a ten thousand majority so it is a relatively dead election as the result is foregone. The best hope is taking him down to four or five. Hardly a motivator to vote let alone campaign. But we do and we must.

Today was a lot friendlier than last year when expenses was breaking. It was all we heard and people didn't want to know. That seems to have softened a year on. Out all day Tuesday and Thursday when at last we will know. Cameron will I believe start to pull ahead this week. It's really about whether or not he gets just up to the line or remains well short. I predict a slightly-hung Parliament with the Tories 20 short and needing the Unionists but not us to govern. We shall see.