The sight of the Hoegh Osaka in the Solent whilst all sorts of agencies are working behind the scenes or even in the foreground with little fuss is inspiring, despite the disaster which put the ship there in the first place. The efforts to get the ship back into water that is deep enough to support its weight and fully afloat is taking place with only modest references to the need to communicate publicly regarding who is doing what and why or using what techniques. After all few of us know much about tides and displacement in any case. We will all know when the plans have worked, and there will be no argument about who did what, the ship will no longer be on its side and we will all be happy. Assuming it goes well and the ship is refloated, no one will be given much opportunity to claim it was their agency that achieved the result or how others let the operation down. That is the nature of real teamwork. Only after the ship has sailed away will the much more detailed analysis of who got the navigation wrong (or if there were extenuating circumstances) will be debated in public.
It might be unrealistic to expect the same from our Politicians, particularly in a year when they are all hoping to get us to vote for them, but listening to David Cameron on the Marr show this morning it is clear that he is far more interested in reframing questions than he is in answering them. He is happy to speak about what others have done wrong, and what he could do in the future in broad and vague terms. However he constantly challenged the basis for analysis of what has been achieved or what has failed to be achieved in the last 55 months. There would no doubt be little difference if the interview had been with Miliband (as it will be next Sunday) or Clegg. Yet what matters to most of us is when will society be refloated and how will the damage be repaired. A bit of humility would be very welcome, and clearly no one really benefits from criticising other people or parties, despite this being the traditional way of doing politics. Arguing about exactly how long society has been listing to one side and the precise angle of its tilt is largely irrelevant to most of us who simply want the ship back uprigt, but sadly it is exactly what our Prime Minister spent his time doing this morning.