I was chatting to my wise friend Suetonius in the Emperor’s garden this morning about the angry mobs in the streets
“A very experienced diplomat friend once told me it’s a good thing to let angry people shout out loud for a while without getting involved in an argument with them,” he said. “You have to wait till tempers calm down. Then you can discuss how to put right what is making them angry.”
“That’s true,” I said, “but plebs like me aren’t stupid. We can see when the leaders don’t mean what they tell us. If they’re good at acting what seem to be real feelings they may fool some of us but if they don’t do what they say they will, we stop trusting them, so the next time the people get angry, they overthrow the leaders.”
“In every part of the world, leaders live completely different lives from the common people so they don’t know what it feels like to be in your shoes, Boudicca,” he said.
“Yes, Suetonius, but most of us want leaders to talk to us in our own language, not theirs. We want simple plain facts, not fancy phrases.”
“Democracy isn’t just about the people choosing who governs them but also about the leaders listening to all the quiet people, not just the few angry people who shout the loudest,” he replied.
“That’s why I love learning from historians like you Suetonius. History teaches us so many important lessons.”