Aesop-esque Fables:  A Tale of Three Leaders

Once there were three leaders. One was named Nicola, and she ruled a land in the north. In the year two thousand and fifteen Nicola faced a great contest, in a faraway place called Westminster. Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin…

By Carolyn Lochhead

Nicola was beloved by many, and so she asked her followers to vow, “I’m with Nicola!” And her face did adorn many posters and mousemats and mugs and she traveled up and down the land taking many thousands of selfies with adoring acolytes. And no-one saw very much of the other elders in her tribe, such as the then-mighty Angus Robertson. And thus, Nicola did win a mighty victory.

The second leader was named Ruth. She looked at Nicola’s colossal triumph and she thought ‘Hmm, I will have a bit of that’. And it came to pass that there was another contest in the year two thousand and sixteen, in a less faraway place called Holyrood. Now, Ruth was not as well-beloved as Nicola. But Ruth knew some people did not love Nicola at all, and up until now there had been no-one to speak for them. And so, Ruth did call upon those people to vote, ‘Ruth Davidson for a Strong Opposition!’ And she, too, traveled the land, leaping upon forklift trucks, buffalo and skidoos to have her picture taken. And it did pay off, and she became the official leader of the opposition.

Now, in the land far to the south was a third leader, and she was called Theresa. She gazed at Nicola and Ruth and she did think, ‘I can do that too!’ And so, for no reason that anyone could discern, she called another great contest, and she did proclaim that the people of her country ought to strengthen her hand in the fierce Brexit battle that would follow. And she did plaster her face everywhere, and she did lavishly scatter her name upon leaflets and posters all across the land. And she did direct the other elders in her tribe to remain silent, except to proclaim their support for her gracious leadership.

But Theresa presided over her crusade from afar and she did not grace the people with her presence, other than appearing on The One Show, which yea verily does not really count. And when she did address the citizenry she appeared in a trance and spoke in strange tongues about strength and stability, and the people were bewildered. And alas, Theresa did not prevail, and she was much weakened, and the jackals and the Johnsons descended and drew near.

And there was a lesson from this story, and the lesson was this.

Pinching someone else’s strategy is only a good idea if you’re certain you can pull it off.

And Theresa did learn that lesson, but alas it was too late.

Carolyn Lochhead is Public Affairs Manager at mental health charity SAMH. You can follow her at @theshooglypeg.

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