There is an outstanding moment towards the end of the first season of Aaron Sorkin’s remarkable show The West Wing where the administration of President Josiah Bartlett is in real trouble.
A senior member of the staff has just suffered embarrassment as a document she wrote whilst working for a rival politician, and which outlines the President’s weaknesses, has been published by a national newspaper; the President himself is treading water and afraid to make a move that might upset people; the staff is frustrated and some are felt to be ready to quit; key allies are lambasting the administration as soft and unfocussed and the public agrees.
The chief of staff is the most frustrated of all; the leaked document has blamed him for the mess claiming that he “steers the President to the centre.”
This, he knows, is nonsense, and in an Oval Office showdown he tells him so.
“You steer me there,” he says.
The two of them hash it out, with the chief of staff reminding his boss that the public elected a liberal who had big ideas and that the staff believed they had come to Washington to work for one.
He demands that the President now find that idealism and the courage to pursue the policies and the courses of action he talked about during the campaign.
He sums it up in a simple philosophy, which is to be the guiding principle of the administration from that moment on; “Let Bartlett be Bartlett.”
Therein lies the answer to our own current malaise.
It seems as if we’re a shadow of our former selves at the moment; we’re woolly, lacking in drive, the players seem unsure, the fans have real doubts, the club seems almost paralysed by fear.
But none of those things got us here; we are the best football team in the country, and as I said in the last article it only remains for us to snap back into that and things will start finding their rhythm again. All we have to do in order to succeed is go back to first principles.
Let Celtic Be Celtic.
And what does that involve? Well, let’s take a look ….