I found a very interesting article on the Telegraph website entitled “Why the public can’t stand today’s politicians”.
“They’re indecisive, lacking real-world experience, afraid of speaking their minds and devoid of colourful personal lives – no wonder we don’t like politicians any more, says Alex Proud”.
Alex goes into greater detail in this long essay, but it is obvious that we are suffering from an overload of career politicians, with little or no experience of the world outside Parliament.
To make matters, much worse, many of them have been through the public school system, which squeezes out any empathy they may have had to start with, and brings out such qualities as ruthlessness, which is hardly an endearing quality in anyone, let alone an MP.
When compared with Lloyd George, Gladstone, Churchill, and Attlee, todays politicians seem shallow and lack-lustre, but I am sure that at least some of these differences are circumstantial. I am also sure that if those notables had been subjected to the same scrutiny as today’s politicians, history may well have judged them less kindly.
Some of his suggestions I totally disagree with:-
“We should also make being an MP more attractive – pay them like we’d pay any other high end professionals who work 100-hour weeks only to be hated by their stakeholders. I’d also give them a decent allowance so we can stop getting our knickers in a twist over high-end duck houses.”
This is not the way to go. It is of no value to attract more career politicians when we need fewer or none!
“Political parties too could do their bit again, perhaps, by emulating the private sector. Companies look outside if they can’t find the right person for the job, they no longer promote on seniority, and, if someone fails (or just endlessly make no decisions) they sack them, rather than reshuffling them to a second tier cabinet post.”
This is no good either! We want the selection of candidates to take place at the constituency level, from local candidates with suitable experience of the outside world.
“One of the reasons people like Nigel Farage is because at least he sometimes takes clear position.”
I see this differently too. Nigel Farage represents a protest vote, which looks as though it could be big enough to overturn the Parliamentary applecart – just what we need!
I think people would be more comfortable voting for him, than not voting at all, which is the alternative that I prefer.
Some of his ideas, however, are nearly in line with my own – limiting PM’s to a single term, for example. My preference is to limit all MP’s to a single term, unless they are so good that a second would be justified. See “Possible Solution”, https://trythisoneforsize.wordpress.com/sites/challenge-of-democracy/possible-solution/
“Cameron and Miliband may not be politicians we want, but they’re probably the politicians we deserve.”
Under the present system, the ordinary voter has no influence over the choice of candidate. This needs to change, if only by adding “None of the above” to the ballot paper.
So, how can you improve the situation before the next election? Sign up to 38Degrees at http://www.38degrees.org.uk/
They are a pretty democratic bunch, and you will be able to influence their program via a regular poll.
If there is something you feel very strongly about, start your own petition – they will help.
Add your voice to the petitions, and watch politicians tremble