'We must stop thinking politicians are monsters from...' blog discussion

This is the discussion to link on the back of Martin's blog. Please read the blog first, as this discussion follows it.

Please click 'post reply' to discuss below.


  • SacreVert
    Just to be pedantic, the idiom is "Toe the line" rather than "Tow the line".
  • torbrex
    torbrex Posts: 71,340 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post Rampant Recycler Hung up my suit!
    edited 20 September 2011 at 12:51PM
    A lot of good points in your blog but if I had one critisism it would be your frequent reference to the 'average wage'
    Can I just point out that the average wage in this country is actually twice the minimum wage which most of the workforce is on and belive me they hate to hear the term 'average wage'

    Thanks to Douglas Adams, I subscribe to the view that anyone that actually wants to run the country should on no account be allowed to do so and as all MP's secretly harbour that notion they should all be disbarred by defeult.
  • WestonDave
    Whilst its true that some politicians have lived in the real world and so understand people's situations, I still feel that assuming this is the case for the majority is wrong.

    Firstly if you eliminate those from very privileged backgrounds (the % of private school educated MP's is far higher than the norm for the overall population) who have only ever done jobs at least as good as graduate programme style ones, as its hard to see any of them ever having had to queue up outside the CAB to find out where to get help with their damp infested housing etc.

    Secondly eliminate all the career party hacks whose only really job experience is working at party HQ or on some political think tank. Again its a privileged position out of touch with what is going on in social housing estates up and down the country. We had one of these stand for the Tories at the last election - never lived in our city until he was chosen for the seat, his career to date was a combination of politican activism and part time "consulting". As for how life was in the more deprived areas of his potential constituency, he hadn't got a Scooby!

    Long long long gone are the days when MP's were elected from amongst the people in a particular constituency - most of them are national party list people parachuted into an area because they have been carefully groomed by central office to toe the party line. If I could make just one minor change to our electoral system it would be to require any potential candidate to have lived and paid council tax (albeit via benefit if needs be) in their proposed constituency for longer than the maximum parliamentary term. In other words anyone wanting stand in 2015, would have to have been living there before the 2010 elections.

    If politicians want to regain respect as our representatives then they need to start being that, not thinking of it as a nice career and a good way onto a few FTSE100 boards! They may well mostly be well intentioned, but in the real world, most of them are not!
    Adventure before Dementia!
  • SacreVert
    SacreVert Posts: 23 Forumite
    edited 20 September 2011 at 1:05PM
    Long long long gone are the days when MP's were elected from amongst the people in a particular constituency
    I don't think that MP's were ever even mostly elected from the local population, unless you are counting the time when the local landowner arranged for their employees to appoint them as the MP. Of course MPs tend to be educated, in much the same way that Engineers, Doctors and Lawyers tend to have an education. If you have an education then it is unlikely that you will spend your life working in a minimum wage job. I am not saying that you might not take low pay employment to support yourself while gaining your qualifications, just that you are unlikely to remain on benefits or low pay work.
    ...eliminate all the career party hacks whose only really job experience is working at party HQ or on some political think tank.
    Why? This is jealousy talking. Spending time researching the problems associated with policies, weighing up the consequences of a given policy on different groups within the country is a valuable experience that is very difficult to get in any other employment. In my opinion it is far more damaging that we allow teachers in schools without any real world experience. It would be far better to only allow schoolteachers to teach once they had 5 years experience of employment outside the education industry. How can someone who only has experience of the eduction field, as a pupil, college student and then teacher, give life advice to a child.
  • cse
    cse Posts: 168 Forumite
    SacreVert wrote: »
    Just to be pedantic, the idiom is "Toe the line" rather than "Tow the line".

    I'm more interested in these "illicit on-the-record responses" myself
  • SacreVert
    cse wrote: »
    I'm more interested in these "illicit on-the-record responses" myself
    Yes, somewhat incriminating.
  • donny-gal
    donny-gal Posts: 4,654 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    It really annoys me when I hear said, the Government should spend more on this, or on that, do people not realise the Government only has our money, it is us who have to fork out more for additional fundings. There is no magic pot of money. Another thing is when people get additional funding to provide them with transportation if they are disabled, but then do not spend it, and just save it, and expect others to help them out without ever offering the cost of fuel. I am not against them receiving it as long as it is used for the purpose it is given. DG
    Member #8 of the SKI-ers Club
    Why is it I have less time now I am retired then when I worked?
  • richardw
    richardw Posts: 19,458 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
    edited 20 September 2011 at 4:07PM
    About 5 years ago I met an MP on holiday and they were sociable over about 5 days.
    The general consensus amongst us was that they were in politics for their career and their own benefit, totally out for themselves.
    Have been observing them ever since on TV and twitter and the view hasn't changed.
    Yes some are definitely monstrous.
    Posts are not advice and must not be relied upon.
  • Errata
    Errata Posts: 38,230 Forumite
    First Post Combo Breaker
    My constituency and those surrounding it is stocked by people who've been parachuted in to safe seats after they gained a PPE, worked for a union or political party or political think tank or are a scion of a political family of long standing. They all excel at telling people what they believe they want to hear, and many of their listeners mistake that for empathy, solidarity and a life lived similar to theirs.
    Guacomole with those chips, anyone?
    .................:)....I'm smiling because I have no idea what's going on ...:)
  • dedwards60
    Have to say I agree Martyn. I have contacted my local MPs and AMs on various issues I felt strongly about over the years and have generally been very impressed with the responses.
    I am sure some are 'self serving' or 'not living in the real world' but to extend froma minority to label all as such is not a valid thing to do.
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