It’s Lonely at the Top

Spearhead Opinion-27.01.2020

Simple Simon met a pieman going to the fair
Said Simon to the pieman “Let me taste your ware”
Said the pieman “Show me first your penny”
Said Simon ‘Indeed I have not any”

This little nursery rhyme has been entertaining children for ages. Like all such innocent ditties this one has a deeper meaning. There is no free lunch it tells you. Had Simon been someone important he would have got a free pie because the pieman would have thought of future favors from Simon. Alas Simon was just Simple Simon.

When you get to the top and want to stay there it’s good to remember that it is lonely at the top—very lonely. It’s lonelier if you have been a celebrity most of your adult life because those who were around you were there because rubbing shoulders with a celebrity gave them a thrill. Others may have been there to use you for their own ambitions and projects. Some may have believed in you and the cause you were espousing—these would have stayed in the background, unknown and unnamed. But once you become a celebrity that has reached the top through a political struggle then it’s payback time for those who struggled with you. You might think you have friends but you don’t. You are alone.

The Prime Minister in his frank forthright manner told the world that he would not have spent taxpayers money to be in Davos at the World Economic Forum and had come only because his ‘friends’ sponsored and paid for his trip. He also named those ‘friends’ and by doing so gave them their money’s worth. The country should be grateful to those who made it possible for the Prime Minister to represent it at Davos.

The Prime Minister also mentioned the colossal amounts of taxpayers’ money spent by his predecessors on such trips. The real reason for the wasted tax money was because of the size of the delegations that accompanied them and the demands that these people made on the embassy staff. Rather than extolling sponsors and depending on them, the Prime Minister would do well to dwell on the Spartan and austere style of his visits. The taxpayers will then consider that money well spent and precedence would be set for such visits, in fact for all foreign visits in the future.

The Prime Minister did the country proud in Davos. He spoke well. He exuded simplicity. He spoke from the heart. He interacted brilliantly and projected Pakistan positively. He had taken a small working delegation with him without any tailwaggers and hangers on or those who expect to be obliged. The tax payer should have no problem paying for such visits.

(Spearhead Analyses are collaborative efforts and not attributable to an individual)