Hard fought. Never to be lost.

Hard fought. Never to be lost.

‘What change has made the biggest impact on your life?’

I asked this question of a hall full of students at #Edinburgh Napier University.

As you might expect the I-phone, #Google and a host of technological #advancements were listed.

Then a quiet voice emerged from the back of the room.

‘Freedom of speech.’

This student was from eastern Europe.

It was a sharp reminder that authoritarian governments silence their critics.

She and what she had endured under an authoritarian government became the focus of discussion.

For those of us brought up with freedoms it was an awakening.

It should also serve as a reminder to democratic politicians that they are elected to serve not rule.

Argument, dissent and opposition are healthy.

Great leaders listen, digest and argue their point with reason and compassion.

If they have to rethink, amend, abandon or change they do so with grace and humility.

They do not lie, bully, demonise; create false enemies nor try and silence their critics.

They serve all the people not just those who back them and support them.

They should remember that the word democracy is made up from two #Greek words that together mean. #peoplepower