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Mahatma Gandhi once said:

"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history."

Friday, March 13, 2009

No qualifications required

Dear Ivor

Suffering from blogger’s block after Tuesday’s tirade and needed some quiet time for reflective thought, plus as a precaution to add my solicitor’s name to ICE (in case of emergency) numbers in my mobile phone.

Now remind me just when you thought it would be a good idea to name and shame some of the A list bloggers on the block. Perhaps a little envy over Lobbydog’s increasing followers and the failure to get a mention in the “Daley Dozen” has got to you, and being, now how did you say it, ah yes, “top of the political pops” is not so far from your own aspiration as you might like to think?

However to even consider messing with Mr Guido himself was nothing if not downright stupid, you have only got to look at Derek Draper’s fate to know that a fraction of that scrutiny would send you scurrying back to your shed in search of spiritual enlightenment.

Anyway your criticisms are a little misdirected as the accused only ever promised title tattle, gossip and in the case of LD compulsive nasal clearing, not political ambition or altruism.

Your impassioned plea for political action and your entreaty for a leader to guide you to the Promised Land are unfortunately both destined to go unheeded, unless you act yourself. To sit back into a quiet life, pottering on the allotment, composting at will, expecting a saviour to emerge, possibly of Irish extraction, who has the answers to climate change and social breakdown is a pipe dream and you gave up smoking some time ago.

Perhaps we have become too accustomed to being over governed and feel daunted at the prospect of being immersed in the democratic process; however the alternative is a dictatorship and the total erosion of civil liberties. It is quite tempting to continue to sit on the sidelines and observe, criticising the main players when they miss their goals and harbouring thoughts of how we could do it so much better, but secretly suspecting that we probably would rather not.

And despite your scathing comments I do actually admire people that stand up to be counted, like Leila Deen, however how many of us have the courage of our convictions or feel too overwhelmed by the pace of every day life to take on the additional responsibility for other people and bear the brunt of media interest?

We are very lucky to live in a country where we still have freedom of speech, albeit becoming somewhat eroded, however despite this freedom we do suffer from political apathy. Is this born out of complacency, cynicism or a lack of engagement? Is politics what other people do, a mysterious career in which qualifications and job responsibilities are subliminally hard coded into Oxbridge graduates?

Is it because we don’t really understand the machinations of government that most steer clear? Where are the post descriptions that outline the skills and understanding you need to govern a department or even the country? Rhetoric alone has proved to be inadequate and yet we rely heavily on this ability to select our candidates. Perhaps we should not be surprised then when they fail. Did Alistair Darling’s law degree bestow on him an understanding of economics? Has Alan Johnson’s union background provided him with an insight into education and health? In what other walk of life are qualifications and experience totally ignored?

Perhaps that is why politicians always have difficulty in answering direct questions because they don’t actually know the answer and perhaps don’t really understand the issue in the first place.

Our political system is based on an adversarial system where quick wits are admired more than slow deliberation. What kind of people do we really want to have responsibility for our national security, economic stability and social cohesion? I think I would prefer if it wasn’t a novice.

Poll (self-confessed tree squeezer) x

Ps Do we need an NVQ qualification for becoming an MP?