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Donal Blaney: Work as if it all depends on you – pray as if it all depends on God

Every week the Co-Founder and Chief Executive of the Young Britons' Foundation, Donal Blaney, has explained one of Morton Blackwell's Laws of the Public Policy Process. This is the last in that series, click here for the full archive.

It is said that every team is only as strong as its weakest member. This certainly worked to the advantage of the Conservative government during the 1980s as the Labour front bench was (until the arrival of Blair, Brown and their cohorts) a seriously unimpressive collection of people.

No matter what role you have in an organization, campaign or team, it is essential that you work as if the entire organization, campaign or team depends on you. There can be no thought of leaving it to someone else, assuming something will be done or not giving it your all.

One of the tragedies of the Conservative Party’s recent past is the way in which a generation of activists and politicians began to believe that the Party had a divine right to rule.

Worse it has taken far too long to adapt to the hard graft of opposition (let alone to understand why three elections were lost and how to ensure a fourth election defeat was avoided).

No team is able to carry a weak member. Eventually it will cause damage to the team. Just ask Carlton Palmer and his then England colleagues.

Hoping that your team’s strongest member will always perform at the top of his game is also not wise. It is the equivalent of sticking your head in the sand. As a Liverpool supporter, I know better than most that much of the team’s problems in recent months seems to have been an over-reliance on Steven Gerrard.

To defeat the Labour machine  - and as I have said before, it remains a formidable machine despite the current problems of the Blair government and its own financial crisis – all conservatives need to work flat out for victory.

Every day we must all ask ourselves whether there is more we could have done for the conservative cause – and if there is, to resolve anew to do more tomorrow.

Yet in working at full pelt to advance our shared agenda, we must be humble enough to recognise that not everything we do will necessarily work out the way we want it to, sometimes for no apparent reason.

In working as many hours as we can, as hard as we can, to further the noble cause of conservatism, it is important to recognize, honour and give thanks for the role of our Creator. Those who are Christians should do this automatically. Those who are not Christians might perhaps ask what place prayer has.

Rather than engaging in a philosophical or theological debate with those of you who are atheists or agnostics, I will close with the observation that you ultimately have nothing to lose by praying to God for assistance. Just make sure you give thanks when those prayers are answered! Happy Christmas!


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