This was known as a political byword in energetic activity, where in three months Napoleon seized power, built an army of 280 000 men and marched on Brussels.
Napoleon, by 1815, was a sick man but his star in the eyes of France shone brighter than the corpulent Louis XVIII.
The first 100 days of the coalition has hardly been Napoleonic in thrust and vigour, considering that the Tories have had thirteen years to contemplate what they wanted to do and three leaders. The Liberal Democrats have had one hundred years and three recent leaders.
Where is the big idea ? Where is the uplifting charisma that will inspire ‘that we are all in this together’ feeling ?
All that I can see has happened is that we have had a change of board members of a sclerotic Plc, with Simon Hughes playing the wannabe board member, who wants to have a personal veto. The product is still the same, 1950’s social democracy underpinned by bureaucratic socialism.
A Napoleonic figure with the benefit of thirteen years preparation would have moved quickly, destroying and out manoeuvring the broken and defeated Blairist Labour Party. A party that is in utter denial that it lost the election, and is in utter denial that it has broken the national bank. Therefore Cameron has left an undefeated army in the field rather than scatter it.
A Napoleonic figure would have announced that the British Army was withdrawing from Afghanistan and Germany within 100 days, instead of denuding the defence of the country, and would ensure that the defence of the homeland was the priority, not fighting foreign adventures on behalf of the USA and standing ovations in the Senate.
The British Forces would be re-equipped and re-organised. What sort of country is it when we have more Admirals than ships?
A Napoleonic figure would have announced that within 100 days, the surveillance State legislation would be swept away in the Bonfire that was promised by the Liberal Democrats.
A Napoleonic figure would have announced a break with the past and announced a new political settlement with a written Constitution and massive decentralisation confirming the relationship between the individual and State. With the State being the Slave, not the other way round.
Finally, in the first thirty days the BBC would have been deprived of its tax raising powers, with a widespread cull of senior executives, followed by privatisation. Currently the BBC is promoting a daily diet of horror ‘cuts’ stories on local and national broadcasting. This is sapping the morale of the country, affecting confidence and business. The BBC has long abandoned any pretence of impartiality and therefore is in breach of its charter. Cameron has left another army in the field.
Napoleon intended to be at the gates of Brussels with the Allied armies crushed in 100 days. Not holding a spending review after 200 days, in which everybody can plead being a special case.
Cameron only had one big idea, and that was to be the next Prime Minister, and now it shows. The policy void means that we have a managerial style of Government, not a representative style or even a leadership style. It is reactive not proactive. He also said at conference that the Conservative Party is not a Libertarian Party, therefore he sees no virtue in a small state and personal responsibility.
Wellington said that Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton, my fear is that this is where this battle is going to be lost. The ‘Endarkening’ of State Bureaucratic Socialism will be ingrained for ever, as liberal values are consigned to the history books.
A bit like Napoleon.
Andrew P Withers