Since spotting Sales value in the abrupt cancelled expansion of Europe's largest transport infrastructure construction this week, I learn of a foundational reason for the UK's inability to build anything big.
Some cite the difference between English common law and the continental neighbours' Napoleonic principles.
In the former, rights emanate for citizens from the ground-up. Whereas with the latter, government comes first.
The way French ministers apparently view this being through their blunt saying;
"when you are draining the swamp, you do not consult the frogs".
Whilst worthy of a dismissively Gallic shrug-like chuckle, on face value this is not a sentiment I can really get behind.
My cub rep days instilled in me how important it was to get those set to live day in day out with what you provide on-side. Even back then, in the main long gone were the days when business leaders would merely mandate something new to their staff and simply expect them to get on with it.
There is though, another view.
In modern parlance, 'the swamp' is a pejorative term. Specifically against a body, a self-appointed elite, that has milked everyone else for so long, whilst failing to deliver anything of note, whose time is up. And good riddance to 'em.
In which case, 'draining' is certainly required. And the frogs don't deserve any say.
The swamp in our arena can be any status quo holding someone or something back. And no matter how large any army of amphibians hopping around in it, they don't deserve much say as to the onrushing pump-out now overdue.
In such case, merely mentioning this French saying can prompt those inclined to feel we can help them make a new path to frame how to discuss what needs to happen, and what might hold it back.
It's also ripe for remix.
I thought first of adding the adjective invasive before frogs.
Thinking about those that have left their natural habitat and strangely consider themselves able to have a say in someone else's.
In fact, such vetocratic behaviour is not uncommon on solution sell bids. If only for the ego-involving reason that for some, knowing money is about to be spent on things other than their own personal desires makes them work harder to prevent it going ahead than the lesser effort required that could be spent on doing their own job better.
Whilst we must guard against those that want to go the full China on this front, exposing those who try to wield influence for whom there's no consequence is something we ought not shy away from.
We can then start off a seemingly side chat along the lines of;
'is there a swamp, are there frogs, and what or who are they?'