In Praise of Richard Ratcliffe

by Ray_North on November 13, 2017


Richard Ratcliffe would be quite within his rights, some might say, to go around to the Foreign Office, seek out Boris Johnson and give him a ruddy great bunch of fives; Richard Ratcliffe would be within his rights, most would say, to go on the airwaves and call for the resignation of the same Foreign Secretary who has, through his arrogant brand of buffoonery put his wife in an even worse position than she already was.

But to the credit of Richard Ratcliffe, rather than appear on the airwaves in a state of understandable righteous indignation at the awful ordeal he is currently having to go through, he is proving himself to be a much better man than that, a cleverer man than that. He has resisted the temptation to unleash a torrent of abuse at Johnson, he has resisted the temptation to insist on his head, and is, instead trying to work with the Foreign Secretary in an extremely dignified way to secure the release of his wife, because, after all, he knows that his case is undermined if he is seen to be overtly partizan.

In modern politics, the culture demands that the response to any mistake or misjudgement is hyperbolic, vengeance is demanded – sometimes this is right and understandable, but, increasingly often the furious response from an opposition is being met with lies or obfuscation from the person responsible for the gaffe such is their desire not to be seen to be in trouble – and the result is a baffling level of confusion and poor policy making which just leads to a diminution in the democratic process.

Perhaps more politicians (and journalists) should take a leaf out of Mr Ratcliffe’s book and try to embark upon a measured and positive response when dealing with matters, my hunch is that it would go down much better with the electorate and, perhaps, make it more difficult for an erring politician to wriggle his way free.

Richard Ratcliffe we salute you.

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