“When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do?” So said John Maynard Keynes.
It's pragmatic, it's realistic, and surely it's something we should all aspire to be able to do? To be flexible and have the courage sometimes to put our hands up and say: "hey, you know what - I got this one wrong."
So a big thanks to our Tory Chancellor George Osborne. His announcement that he has heeded the advice of charities and philanthropists and decided not to cap tax relief on charitable donations is good news. It's also brave - and when our politicians do the right thing, especially if they know that the media and opposition will have a go at them for changing their mind, then it's really important that this is acknowledged.
The shoes I have to fill taking over from Ian Galloway are big, and it's a role with great challenges. I pray that I might have the sense to know when to stay the course and when my decisions need to change.
As I pray for further changes from George Osborne. As Ian Galloway said in his speech to the General Assembly last week:
"Austerity has a moral, stiff-upper lip quality about it. It sounds like something which might do us all good. The reality is somewhat different: food banks, places for desperate people to find something to eat are opening across the UK at the rate of one every four days. If austerity means that we all have to tighten our belt, and maybe especially those who can most afford it, then so be it. But what is really happening is that the most vulnerable are being punished out of all proportion"
C'mon George: see the facts. Change your mind. Help those who need help most.