Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Nelson Mandela on the practice of politics

From Nelson Mandela here is a remarkably insightful statement about the practice of politics.  Perhaps this could be the basis of a New Year’s wish for all our political leaders?

Only armchair politicians are immune from committing mistakes.  Errors are inherent in political action.  Those who are in the centre of political struggle, who have to deal with practical and pressing problems, are afforded little time for reflection and no precedents to guide them and are bound to slip up many times.  But in due course, and provided they are flexible and prepared to examine their work self critically, they will acquire the necessary experience and foresight that will enable them to avoid the ordinary pitfalls and pick out their way ahead amidst the throb of events.

(From Nelson Mandela’s Conversations with Myself , published in 2010, at page 35 – the source is his unpublished autobiographical manuscript written in prison.)

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