There are a few rules I’ve learned from political life over the years that are worth sharing:
1. Opinions are like body parts. Only the well formed bits should be on show. Most should be kept to yourself or only shared with a significant other.
2. Whatever is happening the consequences of it will never be as bad as the fear of the consequences.
3. A crisis is subject to a law of gravity. It always gets worse.
4. Only after you offer to help sort out a problem and get involved do people actually tell you just how bad the problem is.
5. All policies are polo mints. Nice, serve a purpose but will always have a hole in the middle.
6. Insults are only thrown when you are actually having an impact.
7. Never believe your own hype. The other guys are not as bad as you say they are and you are not as good as you think.
8. Sitting on a problem is like sitting on a hot stove. You manage it for a little while but it eventually burns your ass.
9. Take time before giving anyone an instruction. An order you regret is the one order you can be sure they will carry out perfectly.
10. People are liars. They say what they think they should say (good or bad) but its rarely what they actually want.
11. Everyone thinks they are the worst off. Everyone thinks there is a conspiracy against their section or grouping and everyone believes they are the only ones with the intelligence to see it.
12. Friends are great. Friends are also the people most likely to cause you to compromise yourself. No one ever got in trouble over a favour for an enemy.
13. You can panic. You can worry. You can have doubts. But when the door opens you meet the world with a great big smile and tell them you are always in control.
14. When it comes to forming partnerships necessity makes previously repugnant people become strangely attractive. A coalition government is like the last slow set in a nightclub.
15. The effectiveness of a decision is directly proportional to the number of people responsible for taking it. The buck must stop somewhere.
16. The greater the ego grows the more delicate it becomes.
17. No matter how great you are there is always someone to take your place and in time you will be a footnote.
18. Popularity is a credit card, the trick is to spend it and disappear before the bill comes in.
19. There is nothing you will do but a musician, actor or model will point out how they would have done it better.
20. The devil haunts a hungry man. When in need you will do most anything.