H is for hindsight, which is, as we all know, a wonderful thing.
With hindsight (or even taking the trouble to listen to anyone other than the Tory base and their own fanatical desire for power) Truss and Kwarteng would have avoided crashing the economy and making a bad situation a whole lot worse; with hindsight, those who voted Brexit would have seen that the promises of Johnson and Gove were nothing of the sort; with hindsight, the government might (arguably) have responded more quickly and appropriately to the early signs of pandemic. Hindsight good. Not knowing what will happen bad. Right?
Staying in the political frame, people wouldn’t have elected Johnson (those that did, I mean), or Cameron; Gordon Brown would have carped the diem and gone for that election, Blair might have handed over sooner. All those things might have happened, if those involved had known what would happen.
But what if you do know what’s going to happen, and it’s not so great. Which is quite likely, because the fact is bad things happen, as do good. My guess is that if we actually knew what would happen, we’d be paralysed by a hopeless desire to avoid that bad outcome. In fact, nothing much would be different. We’d swap guessing bad stuff might happen, for knowing bad stuff would happen and trying, because we’re human and that’s the way we roll, to do something to avoid it. Either that, or we’d give up what makes us human and do absolutely nothing at all. I could have done H for hope.
Not knowing is a gift. It keeps us moving, hoping, experiencing the suffering and feeling the joy. Hindsight, or seeing what will happen before it does, would, in my humble, non-philosophical, what-do-I-know view be the worst.
Having said that, there’s nothing to stop us learning from history. Kwateng, Truss, Johnson, Sunak, Cameron, Brown, Blair, all of you. I could have done H for history.
H is for history, if you learn from it, good; hope (being the human condition) neutral; hindsight, massively overrated.