Why our Leaders are Pygmies.

It’s simple: Nothing I’ve seen of the leadership of the UK suggests the calibre of people is any better or worse than in previous ages. It’s just the issues they’re dealing with are smaller, and the scrutiny they face is much more immediate, superficial, and lacking the culture of deference from previous ages. In the past, politicians got the benefit of the doubt. Whether the people agreed with them, there was an assumption they were in it for the right reasons. Now the assumption is “they’re all in it for themselves”. They aren’t.

Maggie Thatcher faced down the Soviet Union. David Cameron enjoys no enemy which unites the nation behind him, in part because we won, but also because half the population has decided we’re “small” and therefore shouldn’t try to intervene, anywhere, ever. The UK remains one of only three countries whose militaries have Global reach, but you wouldn’t believe it if you read the comment sections of papers.

The Politicians haven’t changed. The people have – and we’ve become nihilistic, cynical and pessimistic, small-minded, insular, cowardly and prone to seeking information confirming, not challenging our prejudices.

Politicians could help themselves by not pandering to nannying fussbucketry, minimum pricing for alcohol, the font on a packet of fags, and the content of school meals, which are absolutely not the proper function of Government, and which make them look small and petty. “Render unto Caesar…” works both ways. If the politicians were to leave us alone for a bit, they might regain respect.

10 replies
  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    'Politicians could help themselves by not pandering to nannying fussbucketry … which make them look small and petty.'

    Nearly there.

    It doesn't only make them *look* small and petty.

    A nice example of one of those posts which neatly self-refutes within a paragraph or two. You normally have to head over to Richard Murphy's place for this shit.

  2. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Politicians are pygmies because none of them is prepared to declare a position that differs from the 'middle ground' as defined by our media.

    Oh for a politician with the guts to take on the evils of the EU and Islam, instead of the pathetic, 'they need reform'.

    Not a chance.

  3. Malcolm Bracken
    Malcolm Bracken says:

    Dear Anonymous (2) have you considered the fact that many/most people and *almost all* grown-ups think the EU, despite its problems is somewhere between not wholly bad, and actally quite a useful club, all things considered? That the reason people might not be in favour of leaving might be because they are in favour of EU membership, not because they're venal and weak?

    You are the very definition of the shallow, nihilistic, cynical stupidity of the electorate, utterly convinced as only the profoundly ignorant can be, of their own righteousness.

    Your thought process is that of a child.

  4. Longrider
    Longrider says:

    Ah, I see, they need a new electorate. That'll fix it.

    The real difference is that people went into politics from another career. The latest lot have gone directly from university into politics And are divorced from the reality faced by those on the receiving end of their legislation.

    If I am cynical and nihilistic, it is because I have observed these people in action for the past thirty odd years.

  5. Tim Newman
    Tim Newman says:

    The Politicians haven't changed.

    I'm not so sure. I think previously politicians were exposed to something other than politics, particularly those (which was most of them) who had served in the military. These days, an awful lot of politicians seem to go from an Oxbridge PPE straight into an entry-level job in politics from where they can be selected to run for office without having gone anywhere near a real world problem.

    • Luke
      Luke says:

      Shock horror. Politicians do degree suitable for entering politics. Next thing you know lawyers will be doing law degrees and oil industry peeps will be doing degrees in petroleum engineering or geology. Hell, we might even have doctors doing degrees in medicine. Where will it end?

  6. Malcolm Bracken
    Malcolm Bracken says:

    The idea our politicians are less diverse than previously doesn't actually bear scrutiny. We've plenty of nurses, doctors, business men, army officers, union officials, bankers, marketing men, writers, diplomats etc… in parliament. Fewer lawyers than previously, though, and that is no bad thing.

  7. Tim Newman
    Tim Newman says:

    We've plenty of nurses, doctors, business men, army officers, union officials, bankers, marketing men, writers, diplomats etc… in parliament.

    And how may of them are in the Cabinet?

  8. Jack
    Jack says:

    Hello Jackart

    There is certainly something in what you say – there is no doubt that the type of scrutiny politicians are subject to has changed, but this change of environment has meant that the type of person who reaches the top has also changed, and lies half truths and evasions are now obligatory rather than a last resort.

    SO sorry, but you are at best half right.


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