When Jim Hacker, in TV’s Yes Minister, was about to attempt a popular, laudable but tricky initiative Sir Humphrey would try and dissuade him by complementing him on his ‘bravery’.
It does take courage and dedication to tackle something difficult.
In Portsmouth you don’t get much more high profile than our football club, and last week the Supporters Trust submitted its community buy-out bid to the administrator.
This has been the culmination of an immense amount of hard work and effort combined with bucket-loads of passion from fans.
It is credible, sensible and, in my view, exactly in the right direction to give our club the stability and focus it needs to thrive.
We do not know what will happen over the next few weeks, but having crossed this key milestone in fans becoming more involved in the running of their club we should pause and reflect on this achievement.
Our football club is not alone in inspiring people in our city to act.
The Southsea Greenhouse, Hilsea Lido, the Wymering Manor project, Drayton and Farlington’s information centre, the Baffins Pond association, St Cuthbert’s community facility – there is a very long list of great stuff going on out there. So many are working to improve the quality of life in our community, and not a week goes by without new ideas being mooted. The people behind them are indeed brave, but not naive as Sir Humphrey might imply. They are pragmatic and work like troopers.
To date, practical support has not been as comprehensive as it ought to have been, but with the arrival of Hampshire Community Action in Portsmouth I am optimistic they will have the backing they need and deserve.