Becoming friends with people, either for the first time or indeed reconnecting with people after falling out with them makes a great deal of sense at the beginning of the year. The call from Justin Welby yesterday to take up a “heroic” New Year resolution and “resolve to reconnect” with lost friends or family is very relevant as is that from Boris Johnson to create a link with people who have never voted for him or his party. “turn the page on the division, rancour and uncertainty which has dominated public life and held us back for far too long”. It is clear that our nation is on the edge of an immense challenge and unless we choose to reach out and make credible connections with people within our nation and as a nation to try to make connections to nations beyond ours, the challenge of this next decade could prove to be so destructive in our social and economic situation that it could be deeply damaging for many generations.
The call for friendship is a good starting point, the willingness of national leaders to avoid damaging our society is going to require major changes to their claims and statements from the past. Friendship needs to be based on honesty as well as generosity of time and willingness to listen. I look forward to how Johnson will confess to his mistakes and offences so that we can make the request for friendships coherent and real.