Did you ever screw up so badly you wanted to put your entire fist into your mouth and bite down hard while making a noise in your throat like somebody slowly letting the air out of a balloon?
Yeah, me too. Imagine, then, the feeling of being Australian cricket writer Peter Lalor, who last week accidentally spent £55,000
Peter, who was in Manchester to cover the Ashes (a thing cricket people care about), reckons he had “the most expensive beer in history” at the Malmaison hotel.
He’d paid with a credit card and without his reading glasses, and quickly secured an apology and, after a few days clocking up interest, a refund.
He was pretty indignant about the whole thing.
Play fair, Peter. You made the mistake.
I say this with all compassion, and even empathy, because last week I almost tipped a waiter 70,000 Canadian dollars, except I noticed my mistake and cancelled the transaction, and also I haven’t got 70,000 Canadian dollars so the card machine probably would’ve melted, or just laughed.
Everybody makes mistakes sometimes. That’s how we learn. Next time I’ll be more careful.
I think about failure a lot. Part of being a responsible person is understanding when we’re in the wrong and, crucially, what we might do differently next time as we seek to improve.
There’s a lot to be said for taking responsibility without ascribing blame, and moving on with as much positivity as possible.
Brexit is a good example of a mistake, with the added spice that it’s damaging to public discourse, the economy, and society.
I despair to see the divisive, vitriolic arguments raging across the UK and achieving nothing beyond allowing opportunists to gain fame, power and wealth.
It’s already left scars as deep as the Miners’ Strike and I wish we could all just move on.
But that can’t happen unless we admit our mistakes, which started with a lie on a bus and continue with the Upper Class Twit of the Year Show undermining the very concept of democracy.
It has to stop. The country made a mistake, and needs to own it, and move on. This government, Britain’s greatest mistake, must fall.