Wednesday, October 22, 2008

In tune with the times?

George Osborne - will the public accept any leadership from the son of a Baronet with a £4m personal fortune? Just asking, like....

Apologies to regulars - this post is partly written to keep things in one place. On the question that obsesses this blog...
"What kind of people do we want to represent us?"

... here are a few possible answers from the archives here and elsewhere:

1. Nobody likes a smartarse - 'leaders' shouldn't be that bright - via Vino

2. In the same way that I bang on about this subject, Chris Dillow bangs on about the shortcomings of experts. The posts are too numerous to link to, but this is a good start. So we don't want experts then?

3. My accumulated options as outlined here: The question being, do we want 'politicians' to actually represent us (Anthony answered this one very well here:) The other options that I pose are that we may prefer clerical types - living frugally, or jurors / judicial types who hold their meetings in public and go away to deliberate and cast their decisions as votes in a hermetically-sealed way.

And today, we see George Osborne - the member for Tatton!! (estimated personal fortune: £4m), rather enjoyably, having to squirm under fire about being on a boat in Corfu with a mega-rich Russian and another posh fundraiser chum from his old dorm at St Cuthberts.

In the current climate, maybe the picture of a politician in such surroundings is more damaging than the alleged illegality? I was half-watching the TV coverage earlier today, and all of the talking heads were focusing on this issue rather then the legal question

So, do we want people whose personal experience (inheritance?) will shield them from the kind of worries that the rest of us have? Even Tony Blair had an aptitude for fitting in with a prole-ish crowd when he needed to. He could drop the odd aitch, was quite handy with a football, pretended to support The Toon, and had a few laddish snaps in the paper of him raising the odd pint at the local Labour club in his constituency.

In a period when people will be thrown out of their jobs and houses, can the son of a Baronet be 'in tune with the times'? And if we don't want toffs, 'umble priestly types, stuck-up judicial decision makers, slippery politicos, experts or dangerous intellectuals running the shop, who do we want to do it?
(Footnote: I'm conscious that I've not addressed the 'we should be run by businessmen' notion that has often cropped up - particularly in the pub after Rotary Club meetings. Somehow, it seems a less pressing question than it did a few months ago....)

No comments: