What is Wrong with Changing Your Mind?

The UK Government (for whom I hold no candle) has been criticised for changing its mind on two tax issues. The first is about a tax on pasties, and the second is about a tax on fixed caravan homes. The Government will say that it merely put some proposals out for consultation, and when it considered the responses decided that its proposals ought to be modified. The Opposition claim that the Government has changed its mind and the Government’s policy is in a shambles.

A shambles is a state of disorder, a ruin and a mess. Changing your mind, after mature and deep thought, indicates an orderly logical and coherent mind that is prepared to be flexible. Refusing to change your mind under any circumstances indicates that your mind is inflexible and possibly illogical.

The law recognises that changing your mind is necessary. That is why legal systems have appellate courts, often several, because it recognises wisdom is rarely universal and frequently reposes permanently in any person or institution. We all make mistakes, no matter how well meaning we are.

Of course there are some things about which some people will never change their minds. These inflexible principles concern themselves with matters of life and death, or morality, philosophy and religion. They are not matters of whether we should pay a few pence more on a warm pasty, or whether a tax for a certain object should be 20% or 5%, and it indicates a shambolic mind to claim that rethinking the detail on such important but fundemental matters constitutes a shambles.

One Response

  1. If your’e in charge we expect good decisions firmly followed through.

    This Government, unfortunately, does’nt know a good decision from a bad one because it caves in in the face of criticism. Good and bad have become irrelevant and popularity all important.

    Being able to bear criticism with leadership and integrity should be a basic quality of those put in charge.

    From a PR point of view the volte face on pasty tax was also a disaster. Piffling tax changes that we had all got used to and forgotten it…then, out of the blue…… revived again.

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