Perhaps we should not be so pessimistic. After all, history builds nodal points into the affairs of humankind which offer the prospect of change. Within a few short months, we will have a new governor of the Bank of England, a new director-general of the BBC, a new Archbishop of Canterbury. Maybe between them they can usher in simultaneous economic, cultural and spiritual renewal.
“Unhappy is the land that needs a hero,” Brecht had his Galileo idealistically say. But this disconsolate country could do with more than one. We should not have unrealistic hopes. But Mark Carney, the new man at the helm of monetary policy and financial regulation, has a good track record as head of Canada’s admittedly smaller central bank. Tony Hall comes to the BBC with not just a solid journalistic reputation but having now sorted out the financial, artistic and political mess at the Royal Opera House. And Justin Welby, a former oil executive turned priest, will arrive as the new Cantuar with useful experience of managing complex processes and organisations which should come in handy in a bitterly divided church which has lost much moral authority in speaking to the rest of society.
The challenges they each face are formidable….