Guido as he says himself is the political blog that we all love and the Enemy Class hates. You can read him with pleasure today, and for some time yet hopefully, about the politician buggers we suffer here.
If politicians stuck to what they did, say, a century and more ago – that is to say, actually serving the electors that put them there, and usually after a life of achievement in some other sphere – then Guido’s blog, other big ones, and even ours, might not be necessary. We could talk about the merits of competing private plans to build orbiting nuclear power stations, or would a Dyson Sphere round Jupiter have as much merit as a larger one round the Sun?
Although I am a minimal-statist and therefore see “war” as primarily a state-directed activity (evinced on account of the large amount of sensless destruction and loss of life usually involved) I do regard the Armed Forces (or at least those of liberal democracies, mostly in the Anglosphere) as basically sound institutions that tend to turn out sound worthwhile people who can serve as goodish politicians, or often teachers, in later life. You have only to review the military obituaries of the Daily telegraph to prove this to yourself. I note with some regret that no member of the front benches of any party in the UK has served in these, with the possible exception of my namesake.
I would not even mind if politicians had previously been members of any other profession or gang – except, possibly, “press relations” advisers, or “political lobbyists”.
So what ought we to think or do? I suggest that a “politician” can’t exist until he/she has either reached a certain age, or done something worth recording, or both. Then, furthermore, “pay” or “remuneration” ought to be limited to legitimate auditable expenses, plus some small honoraium for turning up when you oculd have been doing something else that you preferred – rather like being a member of a jury. The ability to read and write would be an advantage, plus some good up-to-date knowledge of (real) science, and current affairs, and not the sort gleaned on the Wireless Tele Vision, CNN, or the BBC “news”. Retired Majors and Lieutenant-Commanders (maybe even the odd General,) old ladies who run charity shops, MacDonald’s franchisees, the owner of the local tobacconist/Post Office, Head Masters of the better schools, and most farmers, would make good politicians. I’m not sure anybody else would be of any practical use.
For sure, I’d never allow any “politics” “graduate”, from any University whatsoever, even the Two Ancient Ones, near any “public service” position whatsoever. (Until Terry Eagelton dies – and maybe not even then.)
Oh well, never mind.