We Are Committing Political Suicide

The expenses scandal provided an object lesson in trial by media as everyone lost. Public scorn was reinforced and MPs regulated to such a degree that fewer talented people than ever before will now enter the political arena.

The Levenson Inquiry will more than likely exacerbate the problem and it will only be possible to reverse this trend if we once more learn how to trust and respect our elected representatives.

Imagine the scenario; a nationwide company is interviewing an executive for a highly responsible and demanding job.

Interviewer:  “The salary is not all that good but you will have an expense account.  However, be careful as the rules on expenses are complex and a dodgy claim could get you into really hot water.  You will be subject to intense scrutiny at all times, even on holiday, and your friends may be offered bribes by the media to spill the beans on you.  We will need full disclosure on every source of income you have and this will be published on the internet for all to see.  You must also keep a record of everyone you meet especially those who wish to discuss company business.  Unless you are invited to sit at the top table, which is highly unlikely, your opinion will not be taken into account but you must always support the company line when required.  Oh, and I almost forgot, you will need to re-apply for your job every five years, possibly sooner”

Candidate: “Goodbye”

It goes without saying that any company run on these lines would quickly go bust, and little wonder.  Yet this is precisely how we now attempt to run our government.  Because of a few bad eggs, all MPs are treated with contempt but we are the biggest losers.  Accomplished people with a proven track record will simply not subject themselves or their families to such brutal treatment and who can blame them.  As a result of our small-minded and petty approach, the only people now coming into politics are those with no real world experience or skills.  We have driven away the very people that we really need and this will become an even bigger problem as the crisis deepens. 

We stand to gain far more than we could possibly lose by trusting people and treating them with respect.  Of course the odd bad egg might still get through but at least they would now be in the minority.