Sunday, 9 November 2014

Britain's Got (No) Talent

Here's a quick quiz.  How many ministers can you name from the following eras?

1. Thatcher
2. Major
3. Blair
4. Brown

Now try the same thing with
1. The coalition
2. The current shadow cabinet

I was thinking about this in the wake of Ed Milliband's mini-reshuffle this week, caused by the resignation of Jim Murphy from his post as Shadow International Development Secretary.  On reading about the people being moved into new positions, my first reaction was 'Who?'.  It was also triggered by the story of David Cameron being presented with an unexpected bill for 1.7 billion from the EU, which he spluttered about not paying.  However, we all knew that we would end up paying it, and sure enough George Osborne announced that we will be doing just that, albeit with a side order of lies about getting the bill reduced by his wonderful negotiating skills.

It seems to me that our current crop of politicians appear not to have a great deal of talent for politics.  Most of them seem to be complete nonentities, placemen/women if you will, owing their place to toeing the party line, voting in obedience to the whips and sticking around long enough.  The debates seem to be more about scoring points against the opposition rather then genuine attempts to solve the issues in front of us, as if  government is simply the sixth-form debating society writ large.  Then we have things like Ed Milliband declaring that he would like to be the first Jewish Prime Minister (presumably he was off the day they studied Benjamin Disraeli).

Maybe I'm just getting old and grumpy ('things were better in my day'), but are these people really the best we can do?

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