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The British Guide to Good Sense Going Away

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BOOK IDEA! Free to any Brit author who wants to take it and run with it!

In recent days, the British people have dominated headlines around the globe. And whether you, dear reader, agree with their decisions, there can be no doubt that those folks know how to quit.

First, there was Prime Minister David Cameron.

The results of the Brexit referendum were announced in the morning on Friday, June 24. The very same day, Cameron announced his resignation, detailing an October end to his six-year tenure in office. Cameron lobbied that England should remain in the EU and when his position was rejected by a relatively narrow margin of 3.8%. Citing that loss, Cameron stated, “I think the country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction.”

Second, there was England National Team coach Roy Hodgson. After four years leading the Three Lions into battle on the soccer pitch, Hodgson drew mixed reviews for his club’s performance in the group stages of the Euro 2016. Yesterday, the upstart Icelandic team smote down the Brits with the power of Thor’s hammer in a shocking upset. Well, not terribly shocking because England has a history of wilting in these situations. But still, a country with a population of 330,000 just knocked out the inventors of the game. Within 20 minutes of the final whistle, Hodgson resigned his post. “Now is the time for someone else to oversee the progress of a hungry and extremely talented group of players,” he said. Now, to be fair, Hodgon’s contract was up and he knew it wouldn’t be renewed, but still, kudos to him for actually falling on his sword.

Contrast this with the American style of leadership, where immortality, invulnerability, and an absence of all shame are the requirements for the job. Nothing seems to get American leaders out of a job. Not a bad quarter on stock market, not a bad vote, not a bad game. Nothing. The American style is to deny, ignore, and hang on. When your term is finally, mercifully brought to an end somehow, you remain ever present on the scene, constantly opening your should-be-humiliated mouth to opine on how you were right all along.

Anyway, so here’s my book suggestion:

Write an etiquette book on the British Method of Going Away. Include lots of examples of American leaders who can use the advice. Provide example resignation speeches. Provide example photos of facial expressions, ways to appear appropriately somber. Maybe provide some tips on what to do after leaving office. Could be a very helpful addition to the etiquette shelf in any bookstore!