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



  • tagq2
    tagq2 Forumite Posts: 382 Forumite
    There may be some backbenchers who have grassroots support and pasts which collectively reflect the spectrum of society, but at the top, it's clear where the last 300 years have come from (stopgap Brown was an exception but his job was little more than clearing up the mess on the carpet before the new owners move in).

    Anyway, and sadly, the influence of MPs and Lords is overestimated, particularly on consumer[tm] issues. There is so much secondary legislation which admits little scrunity by the Commons - even the watering down of the Regulatory Reform Act of 2006 didn't stop de-democratisation.

    Politicians will listen to individuals on local issues - it's what keeps them elected. Politicians will listen to popular celebrities - Lewis being an example of a celebrity. And they're all polite and charming (or have a strong power base which exempts them, e.g. Prescott). But there is little incentive to advance causes when in power. Even Labour's traditional union funding was dwarfed by personal and party donations from individual interests during the Party's good years. The perks of being a compliant politician even for a short time outweigh the need to make a lasting contribution, and the guys driving the party and directing the whip certainly aren't from the trenches.
  • 2sides2everystory
    2sides2everystory Posts: 1,744 Forumite
    edited 22 September 2011 at 9:27AM
    A system of accountability which means that once an MP is elected, their reputation is irrelevant to their well-being until the next election in five years is surely not fit for purpose.

    I am sure many young prospective local politicians and prospective parliamentary candidates choose their party as much out of their perceived chances of getting elected as anything else. I have been amazed by the number of "new bloods" who are clearly sponsored in terms of time off (and I worry also in other ways) by major employers such as banks.

    Obviously many MPs start out as conviction politicians, but the system of civil service support and a very fine salary with expenses means they get soft and lazy if not corruptible. If their party allegiances do not dull their personal convictions then favours they owe, or simply the human condition tending to the easy life will get almost all of them in the end. The masters amongst them will gather the trappings of a kind of aristocracy as they make politics their family business. Lords and ladies they become, and some even beget younger versions into the system not because these families are necessarily better at conviction politics than others (although perhaps there are one or two exceptions) but because it is a very lucrative career choice with leg ups to Europe and back and forth to Westminster if you play it right. Networks and nepotism. There is no point in denying all this. It's inevitable in a society with few morals left.

    It's a club at the top in Westminster. Almost like gang culture I shouldn't wonder.
  • Stryder
    Stryder Forumite Posts: 1,134 Forumite
    Another bizarre political move from Martin?
    You have done all you can to say "there there, no hard done" over tuition fees which one of the greatest attacks on consumers (of education) EVER. We are in a time where political parties choose mad cap policies like privitisation of the NHS (via back door), splitting up on the Post Office, reductions in the Armed Service (to pay for Trident) etc etc (the list goes on) and we are meant to feel sympathy for them?

    We have Labour rebuilding after years of complacency, the Liberal Democrats stabbing half there supporters in the back, and the Conservatives pushing through ideological policies under the blanket of "got no cash", whilst creating many more quangos and stunting the economy through badly targeted cuts (Explain why VAT has not been reduced if the government wants us to spend more?). And now we you want us to "Hug A Politician?"

    And to cap it off you say "Most politicians I meet tend to be pretty well meaning"? Are you serious?
    Politicians should represent the best in us as a society, Most should not tend to be well meaning - they should ALL BE well meaning, caring on a local and national level, and have good judgement to boot. They get paid a good wage, especially cabinet ministers, and whilst not as rich as in some countries, rich enough. Some maintain work or have income outside parliament, which comes with many privileges.

    Representing your community is hard work but it should be rewarding in itself, it is a privilege. RNLI people rick there life on a weekly basis without MPs pay and ask for less thanks than some MPs.

    Martin shows a clear political basis and has been more pro government since the last election tan before. And he is someone that was happy to take the News International blood money after the revelations about Millie Dowler had been revealed, why would we look to you opinion about ethics and politics? Why he thinks we should "go easy on politicians" at a time where they appear to be compounding the financial problems I have not got a clue.

    Most people are not stupid. We have a healthy dislike of the political class who are pushed progressively up the ivory tower as they gain more and more power and influence. We do not blame them personally, we just know that politicians become stuck in their own world. It was, after all, Margaret Thatcher that saw Yes Minister as being the closest drama to the reality of the Civil Service.

    Regulars to the website appreciate the site, it is a good collection of tools and advice, a well managed forum which I think is the reason why most come here, and you get paid well for it. But please do not treat us as children. We are perfectly capable of making our own minds up about those who rule over us (when they should represent us). Leave your political Machinations at home and concentrate on the consumer journalism. I am sure you will find people appreciate your financial talents much more than yoru political aspirations.
    ............... Have you ever wondered what
    ¦OO¬¬ O[]¦ Martin would look like
    ¦ _______ ¦ In a washing machine
    ¦ ((:money:)) ¦
  • Old_Wrinkly
    Old_Wrinkly Forumite Posts: 5,182 Forumite
    "of course most of them live like the average person"

    Now who is from a different planet? :think:

    How many 'average persons' have two homes and gold-plated pensions, even if they only do the job a few years? ...
    On top of a grossly-inflated salary for doing nothing of any practical value.
    ROASTIESDAD Forumite Posts: 1 Newbie
    Ref. The expenses scandal, every m.p. Who was involved should have been sacked, charged with fraud and made to pay every penny back, the ordinary working man would not have got away with it like most of the m.p's..

    This is why most working people don't trust them

    regards // roastiesdad
  • cit_k
    cit_k Posts: 24,812 Forumite
    Lets face it, the only one's that make a difference to policy, are the ones at the top.

    The rest have to toe the party line, and are whipped into place.

    Who at the top has any experience of the real world?

    Who at the top does anything more than pretend to be caring or empathic?

    Who at the top understands the basics of things they talk about?

    Who at the top would I trust to work in a chip shop?

    I can see why someone in media may want to suck up to those in power, being on side can go along way.

    But it would be a little more believable if you presented evidence, instead of just opinion that they are as you say.

    And remember, small fry politicians are of no importance in the big scale of things.

    Ever try getting a honest answer out of a senior politician? Its like finding the holy grail.
    In fact, finding an honest one, is also like finding the holy grail.

    So is finding one that actually is in touch with society, and has a clue what they are talking about.
    [greenhighlight]but it matters when the most senior politician in the land is happy to use language and examples that are simply not true.
    The impact of this is to stigmatise people on benefits,
    and we should be deeply worried about that
    [/redtitle](house of lords debate, talking about Cameron)
  • klik2
    klik2 Forumite Posts: 2 Newbie
    edited 28 September 2011 at 9:45PM
    Ref. The expenses scandal, every m.p. Who was involved should have been sacked, charged with fraud and made to pay every penny back, the ordinary working man would not have got away with it like most of the m.p's..


    I wonder if the Magistrates who jailed the London rioters, for stealing a bottle of water or a TV, would have been as tough on MPs?
    Parliament make the laws but MPs fiddle the tax payers.

    Would "the ordinary working man" who commits tax fraud or benefits fraud, get a second chance like some MPs?
  • Errata
    Errata Forumite Posts: 38,230
    10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    The rest have to toe the party line, and are whipped into place.
    And whipped very hard indeed. Most MP's in a governing party have some kind of departmental appointment - bag carrier to the department's third secretary or some such. One tiny footstep out of line and they're sacked and will never be appointed again. Not something they want on their CV when they're looking for directorships.
    .................:)....I'm smiling because I have no idea what's going on ...:)
  • cddc
    cddc Forumite Posts: 1,164
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    As I have argued on DT on another thread, far too many MP's, particularly ones who end up in real positions of power, just do PPE at Oxford, then enter the Westminster machine straight from University and have never lived or worked in the real world. They are pure political anoracks who know nothing of the world outside the narrow confines of their parties, Whitehall and Westminster.

    If they had, many of the poor bits of legislation of the last 20 years and the poor spending decisions (Nimrod's, NHS computers etc. etc. etc.) could well have been avoided.

    Yes many mean well, and even if you just judge from their degrees, are obviously intelligent. What they have little or any of is practical first hand experience of how the laws they pass affect those bound by them. If they did we would have better laws.
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