Are the wrong people running the show?

#1
Just wanted to throw this one out there, wondered if anyone was feeling as uneasy as me?

Is it time that MPs bowed to the fact that, quite often, they do not seem to be up to the job in hand? Watching Andrew Marr this morning, following the ongoing discussions about the financial situation I noted something. Simon Wolfson, the CEO of NEXT is talking common sense, no hyperbole, no histrionics, no blame, no avoidance, just calm, measured, seemingly accurate appraisal of where UK plc is, and where it could be going. He was equally measured, and in my view, on the money, two weeks ago on Question Time.
Next up Mr (sorry missed name) of Alchemy Partners, calm, common sense appraisal of situation as it has affected banks ability to invest in projects that they were willing to invest in two weeks ago. These two speakers are followed by Yvette Cooper MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, I think, who spends twice as long trotting out the same lines we have been listening to for a fortnight, and doesn't actually say anything of incisiveness at all. Yes, she has been briefed but does she really know what she is talking about?
This is not the first epiphany of this kind I have had recently. Peter Jones, of Dragon's Den fame, talking on Breakfast Television, Alan Sugar, on Football Focus, even bloody Jamie Oliver ffs, all seem to be talking so much common sense, and not only that, seem to be able to take common sense views of how best to approach problems.
If you take the view that UK plc could be run like a large company is it not the case that the people least qualified to run the company are the Members of the House of Commons? On top of this I am confident that my MP does not represent my views and that the mechanisms for getting my views known to my MP, and through him, the House of Commons do not seem to work. If on the other hand, UK plc was run as a company, by "masters of industry" we could all, in theory, attend an AGM and make our views known!

Not meant as sedition, and perhaps naive in the extreme, but I just wondered, in the current climate, whether others had had the same thoughts, and whether it would make the basis for a thread?

Fire away!
 
#2
By the way Mrs B-A wants to put the country back in the hands of the Monarchy!! She says that Prince Charles speaks more sense than any polition, and may represent better value for money.

She wanted me to mention that -!!!?? So I have!

As valid as my suggestion, I suppose?
 
#3
Bound_Apprentice said:
By the way Mrs B-A wants to put the country back in the hands of the Monarchy!! She says that Prince Charles speaks more sense than any polition, and may represent better value for money.
doesn't he talk to plants? 8O
 
#4
CRmeansCeilingReached said:
Bound_Apprentice said:
By the way Mrs B-A wants to put the country back in the hands of the Monarchy!! She says that Prince Charles speaks more sense than any polition, and may represent better value for money.
doesn't he talk to plants? 8O
Concrete proof that he has more marbles than our politicians, they talk to each other whereas in reality you would get far more sense from a cabbage.
 
#5
CRmeansCeilingReached said:
Bound_Apprentice said:
By the way Mrs B-A wants to put the country back in the hands of the Monarchy!! She says that Prince Charles speaks more sense than any polition, and may represent better value for money.
doesn't he talk to plants? 8O
That is possibly because like th rest of us, he doesn't get any sense out of anyone else.

Maybe he should join ARRSE !
 
#6
I reckon you've answered your own question mucker. It doesn't take over-developed analytical skills to see that the people you have highlighted for their calm and sensible appraisal of our current misfortunes, and their well-thought out responses to them, are all leading industry figures. By contrast, our collective government (and I include what passes for opposition of all colours) hasn't done a proper days work in their lives. Is there, therefore, an argument for restricting membership of the House to those who have been in the real world and done something useful?
 
#7
Perevodchik said:
I reckon you've answered your own question mucker. It doesn't take over-developed analytical skills to see that the people you have highlighted for their calm and sensible appraisal of our current misfortunes, and their well-thought out responses to them, are all leading industry figures. By contrast, our collective government (and I include what passes for opposition of all colours) hasn't done a proper days work in their lives. Is there, therefore, an argument for restricting membership of the House to those who have been in the real world and done something useful?
Possibly so, and to prevent unfairness and draft dodging you could run it like jury service, except that, as you say, you must have done a days work. Perhaps with a 2 year stint as a sitting member!

It kinda goes back to the old argument that expressing a desire to be an MP shoud bar you from applying, and being a policeman who expresses a wish to carry a firearm should prevent you passing the psych evaluation!

Not sure about the over-developed analytical skills btw. :wink:
 
#8
Those people with an ounce of sense, the ones with good sense and clear thinking, would never dream of entering politics and so we are left with a bunch of second rate posers (making no distinction between any party) to try to govern us.

During my service I never met a politician who impressed me, they were ignorant and concerned entirely with self aggrandisement.

The US suffers from the same problem.
 
#9
Thaddeus said:
Those people with an ounce of sense, the ones with good sense and clear thinking, would never dream of entering politics and so we are left with a bunch of second rate posers (making no distinction between any party) to try to govern us.

During my service I never met a politician who impressed me, they were ignorant and concerned entirely with self aggrandisement.

The US suffers from the same problem.
I agree almost entirely....I don't think politicians are ignorant at all (well, maybe a few are but you get underachievers in every field :D ) Rather, politicians are extremely astute, unassailable in their ability to comprehend subjects of fiendish complexity and then - the really special talent - delude themselves into either believing the babble that they spout or, realising party the party faithful will vote for them regardless, veil the truth by using meaningless "power" phrases to bamboozle those of us with a brain.....
 
#12
Meum_Cerebrum_Nocet said:
Thaddeus said:
Those people with an ounce of sense, the ones with good sense and clear thinking, would never dream of entering politics and so we are left with a bunch of second rate posers (making no distinction between any party) to try to govern us.

During my service I never met a politician who impressed me, they were ignorant and concerned entirely with self aggrandisement.

The US suffers from the same problem.
I agree almost entirely....I don't think politicians are ignorant at all (well, maybe a few are but you get underachievers in every field :D ) Rather, politicians are extremely astute, unassailable in their ability to comprehend subjects of fiendish complexity and then - the really special talent - delude themselves into either believing the babble that they spout or, realising party the party faithful will vote for them regardless, veil the truth by using meaningless "power" phrases to bamboozle those of us with a brain.....
A trait not confined to politicians, but one which is also widespread amongst those who spend their meaningless lives in the pursuit of them. To whit, the underclass of the political establishment, the political journalist, who, almost to a man, have an unalterable opinion which is subtly manipulated to provide the average bloke in the street with the impression of independent thought.

If I might take Thaddeus's comment a stage further, it is only a lack of clear thinking and an ounce of sense which qualifies the majority of our ruling elite for the positions they are in. If they had either they'd have a proper job.
 
#13
Bound_Apprentice said:
Perevodchik said:
I reckon you've answered your own question mucker. It doesn't take over-developed analytical skills to see that the people you have highlighted for their calm and sensible appraisal of our current misfortunes, and their well-thought out responses to them, are all leading industry figures. By contrast, our collective government (and I include what passes for opposition of all colours) hasn't done a proper days work in their lives. Is there, therefore, an argument for restricting membership of the House to those who have been in the real world and done something useful?
Possibly so, and to prevent unfairness and draft dodging you could run it like jury service, except that, as you say, you must have done a days work. Perhaps with a 2 year stint as a sitting member!

It kinda goes back to the old argument that expressing a desire to be an MP shoud bar you from applying, and being a policeman who expresses a wish to carry a firearm should prevent you passing the psych evaluation!

Not sure about the over-developed analytical skills btw. :wink:
I like the jury service idea myself, however, I think it would need to be for longer than 2 years.

Also I would avoid replacing all the "Jury" at once, so we would not have the problems of an all new parliament.
 
#14
Easy as it is to pour scorn on the politicians, the current financial crisis was caused by leaders in the banking industry acting with short term aims in a competitive market. If this type of ideology was applied to government then it would be a dangerous situation.

Simon Wolfson does indeed speak very well and I would happily see him in the government but let us not forget that Mohammed Al Fayed is a successful businessman and he comes across as a bloody fool. It is always easier to stand on the sidelines and make comment as your ideas are never put to the test, it is far more difficult to implement these ideas and stick with them.

The current system does put some weak-willed and imbecilic people into Westminster, but other systems of government fair little better (see G.W. Bush).

The significant problem of our system of government is that the main parties are so aligned in their political outlook that they resort to petty back biting and cheap point scoring instead of sensible debate and policy making. This is not advocating extremist political views but a few right or left of centre politicians would inject some much needed alternatives into the mix. Until an event occurs that forces parties away from the middle ground this will continue.

Brown will be unceremoniously ousted from office in 18 months time, will it make a difference? No, because the Tories do not have a fundamentally different set of ideas than Labour, if they had all been industry leaders before hand would they? Not a chance, they would just have more business interests.
 
#15
Bound_Apprentice said:
If you take the view that UK plc could be run like a large company is it not the case that the people least qualified to run the company are the Members of the House of Commons? On top of this I am confident that my MP does not represent my views and that the mechanisms for getting my views known to my MP, and through him, the House of Commons do not seem to work. If on the other hand, UK plc was run as a company, by "masters of industry" we could all, in theory, attend an AGM and make our views known!

Not meant as sedition, and perhaps naive in the extreme, but I just wondered, in the current climate, whether others had had the same thoughts, and whether it would make the basis for a thread?

Fire away!
I, for one do not want the UK to be run as a company. There is a great deal more to it than simply registering a profit at the end of each financial year and having medium and short term financial plans. A country is a much more complex institution that provides security, identity, safeguards heritage and culture and acts in the overall (not simply financial) best interests of citizens. I personally believe that much of the chaos we have now stems from "there is no such thing as society" and has been compounded by the weak and vacillating crew that we have had since. There is such a thing as society and it needs looking after.

I agree with your point about citizens being able to get a point across to their representatives in parliament. In politics, and public life generally, we have individuals who are preachers, not role models. Modern politicians seem much more concerned by the points coming from above, rather than the points from below. I disagree with much of the straight opprobrium poured on them - they are weak, they are unrealistic, frequently unimaginative - but in general they do mean well. The problem is that they are so terrfiied of bad press that they find out what the press will say before acting. In leadership terms, they find out where everyone appears to be going and then walk in front of them.

We, the lumpen proletariat, must take our share of the blame as well. The media outlets that pander to the preening celebrity, fawn to those who measure success through nothing but wealth and assassinate any individual who does not play to the agenda of a small number of owners, editors and commentators are the media outlest that we all buy and continue to make profitable in their current formats. Received wisdom is the norm, be it from the right wing, left wing or liberal strands. (They are all represented.)

The banking crisis has demonstrated that the business community in this country is no more capable than the political community. When did we ever hear of a British CEO being head of a major foreign corporation? We have weak and vacillating politicians. We have arrogant and unimaginative captains of industry. Sacking half of the workforce and then making the other half work harder for the same money is not imaginative and dynamic leadership - anyone can work that out. I would like to see genuine imagination, more engineers and designers, less salesmen. People in sales are trained coached and capable of selling rubbish, be it a TV set or a financial plan for a major bank. Sales ability seems to be the prerequisite for advancement in industry, all of our politicians now come from being researchers for think-tanks or other politicians, and the whole shebang have formed one of the largest mutual masturbation societies ever seen.

The solution - get involved. Do it at the very bottom - outstay the boring and self important councillor - embarrass the arrogant MP. It doesn't matter which party you join - they are all so similar now, Unlucky_Alf is quite correct there. But get in, take it your way, ffs, if I disagree I wont vote for you; if you disagree with me don't vote for me.
 
#16
Enlightenment,

Good post. The point about local council types being self important and boring is true. Local government is a joke, and it will remain so unless people become interested in it. How many honestly know who their local councillor is? How many care? The overwhelming majority of people do not even know what powers their council has, so it hardly matters who is executing those powers.

The reason for this is because local government types are (in the main) 3rd or 4th rate operators, the local councillor is supposed to represent the local community - they obviously don't do a particularly good job otherwise the local community would know who they were. The only time you ever see them is at election time or if you have the misfortune of encountering one at a tedious function. This is the councils failing, yes we the population should be more interested, but the councillors should make the effort to engage with the community they pertain to represent and generate that interest.

It is interesting to note that when a talking head 'community leader' is required by the local or national news it is rarely the local councillor who gets the job. The people in the town halls must have recognised this and be attempting to rectify it. Or maybe they are happy in the knowledge that they will be re-elected if the apathetic stance towards local government remains unchanged.
 
#17
CRmeansCeilingReached said:
Bound_Apprentice said:
By the way Mrs B-A wants to put the country back in the hands of the Monarchy!! She says that Prince Charles speaks more sense than any polition, and may represent better value for money.
doesn't he talk to plants? 8O
Didn't know you were on speaking terms with HRH!
 
#18
Enlightenment said:
When did we ever hear of a British CEO being head of a major foreign corporation?
While I agree with your post for the most part, the above isn't quite true. A quick google on "British CEO" reveals

CEO of Sony

CEO of GlaxoSmithKline
I suppose it depends whether you regard the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank as "British", but it's got a British CEO too.

One old observation was that if you looked at the top people in American firms, they had law degrees; if you looked at British firms, they had accountancy qualifications; and if you looked at Japanese firms, they had engineering degrees. Meanwhile, I work for an American firm with an Israeli CEO (but brought up in London), whose predecessor was Belgian.
 
#19
Unlucky_Alf said:
The reason for this is because local government types are (in the main) 3rd or 4th rate operators, the local councillor is supposed to represent the local community - they obviously don't do a particularly good job otherwise the local community would know who they were. The only time you ever see them is at election time or if you have the misfortune of encountering one at a tedious function. This is the councils failing, yes we the population should be more interested, but the councillors should make the effort to engage with the community they pertain to represent and generate that interest.

It is interesting to note that when a talking head 'community leader' is required by the local or national news it is rarely the local councillor who gets the job. The people in the town halls must have recognised this and be attempting to rectify it. Or maybe they are happy in the knowledge that they will be re-elected if the apathetic stance towards local government remains unchanged.
The reason that there is so little quality in local government is that there is absolutely no power to achieve anything on behalf of a community - hence also the fact that community leaders are drawn from almost anywhere apart from local government when required. The same explanation goes for th elow turnout in local elections. It is attempted to pass this off as "apathy" amongst the electorate - whereas it is in fact simple knowledge that even if you become a member of local government, you still have minimal say in how things are to be run within your community.

This then combines with the utter removal of the super wealthy from the community, so there is not even the altruistic spirit of a Lever Bros or Cadbury to attempt to improve a community for the good of that community, and for no other reason. I realise that this altruistic spirit was far from the norm, and that there are still very noble institutions out there (Bill and Melinda Gates' and Warren Buffet's generosity is currently running to 10s of billions), but such actions certainly seem to be a minority. Much better to preach a la Bono, Cherie Blair etc rather than make any form of effort or sacrifice to actually achieve a stated aim. Even with worthy foundations such as The Gates Foundation, the aims and intentions are global. The old victorian saying "Charity begins at home" was never intended to be "Help yourself first", which rapidly degenerates into "As soon as I have got the 52" HD TV......" It meant that you looked at those nearest who were worse off and helped them with their needs, and in this way all good will spread outwards.

The overall effect of all of this is to completely disempower already fractured communities. Local links are lost; culture, heritage tradition and identity are lost. The reason that immigration causes such local trouble in the West is not solely because of immigrants importing these things, it is a much because we in the west have flogged them off for a quick return. Local communities must have power through democratic elections given back to them. If this does not happen then communities will die completely. They will make horrendous mistakes, and a bit of benign nannying will be appropriate.

Let us not forget, democracy is still the new, untested, avant-garde system of government. If it is not looked after it will fail.
 
#20
Enlightenment said:
The reason that there is so little quality in local government is that there is absolutely no power to achieve anything on behalf of a community - hence also the fact that community leaders are drawn from almost anywhere apart from local government when required. The same explanation goes for th elow turnout in local elections. It is attempted to pass this off as "apathy" amongst the electorate - whereas it is in fact simple knowledge that even if you become a member of local government, you still have minimal say in how things are to be run within your community.

The overall effect of all of this is to completely disempower already fractured communities. Local links are lost; culture, heritage tradition and identity are lost. The reason that immigration causes such local trouble in the West is not solely because of immigrants importing these things, it is a much because we in the west have flogged them off for a quick return. Local communities must have power through democratic elections given back to them. If this does not happen then communities will die completely. They will make horrendous mistakes, and a bit of benign nannying will be appropriate.

Let us not forget, democracy is still the new, untested, avant-garde system of government. If it is not looked after it will fail.
Not sure on this, and it is only an idea:

In the modern age, speed of communication can be argued to make central government more effective (or at least enable it to potentially be so). Incompetence coupled with impotence in Local government at the present time begs the following question:

What is the point of having local government in its present form?

Very little really, an organisation staffed by no-marks with no power is a rather futile project. Why not centralise, achieve economies of scale and get the right people in positions of authority?

In essence my argument is that we should stop wasting time on a pointless system and instead invest our efforts on establishing a better functioning national government system.

Or

Is there a real need for locally elected representatives (beneath the level of an MP) and if so how is the system to be made to work for the populace rather than the present sham?

As I said, it is only an idea.
 

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