As I headed into the polling station, a cute if crumbling nursery in a parish hall, this morning, the phrase 'a year is a long time in politics,' popped into my head.
Here in London, we have our first opportunity to vote in a mayoral election that does not include Boris or Ken – although the sight of George Galloway on the ballot paper offers a familiar if controversial face. And across the UK, elections are taking place for the Scottish and Welsh Assemblies, coupled with 124 council elections.
Taking inspiration from the US – after all, giving names to our weather systems has been such a hit – the press has dubbed today’s event 'Super Thursday.'
The pollsters, I can't help but note, have been quieter than usual. A case of burnt fingers after the May 2015 general election, where there was an almost unanimous failure to predict a Conservative majority win I wonder?
And if that was a hard one to call, predicting that Donald Trump would this week become the US Republican party’s presumptive nominee for President, as fellow candidate Ted Cruz and John Kaisch both bowed out, would require close to superhuman skills.
Watching the billionaire businessman trade insults once again this week with Texan senator and former rival Cruz – or just plain “Lyin’ Ted” if you are Trump – I am struck by different people’s notions of what it is to be a leader, and how to lead by example.
One very British example of this is Baroness Knight, who was awarded the Peter Yeo Medal from the AOP last month. In a parliamentary career spanning five decades, the 91-year-old has been a dedicated champion of the eye health cause, and the role that optometry plays in public health.
And leadership comes in different forms – a point made clear in OT’s feature with optical practice business owners and senior executives on creating a positive environment at work.
Image credit: Gage Skidmore