Head in the sand? What sort of plan is that?

Watching news reports of the French police parked on the beach while traffickers send another group of desperate people into the English Channel makes me think they are not putting their head in the sand; rather, they are working to a deliberate strategy to empty the camps by sitting on the sand doing nothing, albeit with their blue lights flashing.

It reminds me of the factitious advice that comedian Gerard Hoffnung offered to tourists visiting London in 1958: “All London brothels display a blue light.”

For some, doing nothing is a strategy they have considered, planned, agonised over and implemented. For others, it is what they do because they either cannot or refuse to think of an alternative. 


Is doing nothing ever OK?

In a contest, doing nothing is simply not an option. A referee blows his whistle to start a game of football or rugby; one of us serves to start a game of tennis. Failing to set off at the start of a duel will surely present your opponent with a safer (for them) and much easier target—your back. That is, if you don’t step up and play the game, you lose.

So why do so many people do nothing when the chips are down, the odds are against them or the swarms of an enemy army form up on the ridge?

And what should you do if you are confronted by someone who simply refuses to engage with you?

One tactic could be the same as you’d use when dealing with a bully. Bullies hate being ignored. And when they blow a fuse and see red in sheer anger at your refusal to acknowledge them, you are ready to deliver the knockout blow and make something happen that you have planned all along.

In the world of disputes, the playing fields are replaced by courtrooms and the referees are replaced by judges who aren’t just regulating fair play; they have the power to decide the outcome of your contest.

The uncomfortable truth is that many cases end up in court because one of the parties had their head in the sand and did nothing, hoping it was all just going to go away. Others will have a strategy not to participate. Some may have deliberately missed the opportunity to settle, even on the steps of the court.

There are people who will disagree with me, those who say they are “just here to listen.”

When you work with Moot Hill to resolve your dispute, we’ll help you create and execute a plan, even if that plan is to do nothing. This is because we’ll work with you through all the causes and effects of your dispute and the potential consequences. Ultimately, we want you to be in control and decide what is going to happen.

You should only ever stick your head in the sand if you want to have eyes in your…



Moot Hill dispute resolution Leicestershire