Never underestimate the power of social media.
Here in the UK, it’s been no big secret that our government are a little, shall we say…incongruent.
They say one thing, then do another.
The funny thing is, they forget that it’s the people here that really hold the power.
Now, don’t worry - this isn’t just a political whinge… there’s an important lesson to be learned.
I’ll be honest, the UK has been pretty badly hit by the pandemic. It’s been over 15 months since we were last restriction-free, and despite being the fastest country in the world to roll out the vaccines we’ve not yet got back on our feet.
The people here are fed up, frustrated and quite frankly, a little pissed off.
I could spend all day recounting the ways our government have messed up. All the mixed messaging, blatant lies and misappropriation of public money. And throughout it all, the press and the public (mostly) have stayed quiet.
Until this last week…
It seems our Minister for Health, Matt Hancock, finally pushed the public too far.
Thanks to leaked video footage - from cameras that no one even knew existed - the press has been awash with images of Matt Hancock locked in a tight embrace with a woman who most certainly is not his wife!
These videos were taken right at the height of the pandemic. While the public were being told to “keep 2 metres apart” and guidelines said that physical contact with others was not allowed.
So while grannies all over the country went months without so much as a handhold, our buddy Matt was ignoring the guidance he himself had set!
The ultimate hypocrisy.
When the news came out, it caused an uproar.
So do you know what we did? The most British thing imaginable…
We didn’t storm the capital or write to our local representatives.
No. That's far too direct...
We passive-aggressively meme-shamed him instead.
For the 24 hours that followed, social media was awash with memes, jokes and videos mocking the Health Secretary and demanding he stand down.
You see, he’d lost all his credibility.
Why would the public listen to the guidelines set by a man who didn’t even follow them himself?
Eventually, the internet won. Matt Hancock handed in his resignation and a new Health Secretary was appointed.
Now, I’m not just sharing this with you for fun - although it is mildly amusing.
There’s actually a pretty good lesson to be learnt here.
Credibility matters. Whether you’re the health minister or a business owner, people need to be able to trust you. They need to know that you’re genuine, that you deliver on your promises and that you have integrity if you want them to hand over their cash.
It can take years to build that level of trust in an industry - and just a few minutes in a back corridor to totally break it.
So tread carefully. Think about your actions and act in alignment with the values you tell people you uphold. If you always live with integrity then you’ll have nothing to fear…