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Why are they all useless?


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Ideally a serious topic.  Has been stated elsewhere that Cameron; Clegg ;Thatcher; Blair; are all useless.  Somewhere else Brown; Wilson; Callaghan  and George Osborne are the same.  No doubt nearly everybody nodded agreement.

 

That surely can't be right.  Do we expect too much of our politicians.  Not make allowances for outside influences.  Does close examination of things reveal cracks we never used to notice.  France and Italy, among others, seem also to suffer in that way.

 

Just be interested to hear any theories.

 

Happy days

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Perhaps we expect our nations leaders to be supermen/women, they are only normal (if there is such a condition) human beings with the same frailties and flaws that the rest of us have, just take a look at the way we behave on here when discussing political and religious issues, and we can't see each other. They have the unenviable task of trying to satisfy the demands of a nation that is divided by political division, class, age, religion, gender and wealth plus many many more aspects of our everyday lives, ask yourselves, would you take the job on, I know I wouldn't!.

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Actually the remuneration isn't, £60k isn't it plus expenses? That's peanuts not just in the city but compared to any relatively senior post in a big company. So the pay's not good and the pressures are terrible. I believe if you're canny it's the 'consultancy' services they can offer to business once they've left office that are lucrative but won't be available to your average back bencher.

 

It's also difficult on a practical level, living in your constituency, regular travel to parliament and long hours when you're there.  Very difficult for an ordinary person with a family, child care commitments etc Also the cost of a campaign to actually get elected is prohibitively expensive to ordinary people with the kind of life experience that would actually be useful in office. 

 

It's just not an attractive career so doesn't attract the brightest and best. Only the power crazed that don't need the money and have Daddy's cash to pay for a campaign.

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Impossible to please all their own MPs - never mind all the interest groups and  all of the electorate.

 

Who was it who said that the people  opposite were not the enemy, the enemy were the ones sat on one's own benches.

 

At the end of the day it is a not just  question of who succeeded most  but also  who caused least damage.

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Think you'll find that Cameron , Clegg and Milliband are on closer to £140,000 per annum + expenses + final salary pension scheme.

As for Thatcher, she was widely viewed as less than useless as an opposition mp. It was only after she became leader and had elocution lessons, her speeches written for her and advisers by the dozen that was she regarded as a politician of note (by some).

 

And if Blair is an example to follow, his annual earnings are closer to £11,000,000 

 

In a recent poll mp's were asked what salary they think they should be on.

 

On average, Tories said their salary should be £96,740, while Lib Dems thought the right amount was £78,361 and Labour £77,322. Other parties put the figure at £75,091.

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Unfortunately, the ambitions of would be politicians "to make a difference" are long past  & for a long time now  being an MP has meant no more than a very lucrative career path with the chance of even greater prospects further down the line .

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Thank you folks.  All make good points.     Algy has posted pretty much what i would have said.  It was far from a loaded question other than earlier leaders were not subject to the scrutiny which the more recent ones endure.

 

Asperity makes a valid point, but the question is bigger than outside experience.    Davy says "to make a difference" is on the ball - as per Obama this week, stymied on gun law.

 

Happy days

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As time has gone on, we have become less trusting, in the 50s, people believed that the government were their for them, irrelevant of political party. With the advent of new media we are less trusting. How many of you given a vote would have voted for the UK to go into suez, we trusted the government then.

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No doubt some naïve youngsters start off wanting to make a difference, but soon realise they've entered a club where self interest and promotion predominate; so either have to conform to the norm or become isolated as a maverick. Following the "Party Line" is all, and the Party Line is about getting elected, which limits any visionary to the next election and to the opinion polls. The electorate are equally fickle, wanting results primarily for their own self interest now and without any thought for the long term. Very rarely do we get a politician with convictions reaching the number one spot and departing from the cosy concensus at the perceived safe centre ground. Unfortunately their are two, incompatible objectives - 1) to get elected, then 2) to actually do something constructive and lasting when elected. So like a man in the fog, we muddle on, bumping into one lamp post after another.

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Think you'll find that Cameron , Clegg and Milliband are on closer to £140,000 per annum + expenses + final salary pension scheme.

As for Thatcher, she was widely viewed as less than useless as an opposition mp. It was only after she became leader and had elocution lessons, her speeches written for her and advisers by the dozen that was she regarded as a politician of note (by some).

 

And if Blair is an example to follow, his annual earnings are closer to £11,000,000 

 

In a recent poll mp's were asked what salary they think they should be on.

 

On average, Tories said their salary should be £96,740, while Lib Dems thought the right amount was £78,361 and Labour £77,322. Other parties put the figure at £75,091.

 

Yes, the basic is £64k and there are increments for additional responsibilities and allowances for expenses such as employing staff in their constituency. According to Wikipedia, the PM's salary is £131k. To put it into perspective my husband's university friend is a reasonably senior but not director level IT manager in Accenture and he was earning that much about 10 years ago, obviously more now with progression (my husband earns nothing like that much!). Financial City types earn vastly more. 

 

I think the point I'm trying to make is that the best, brightest and most capable people who you'd perhaps want in charge of the economy don't want to be in charge of it because they can easily make more money with less stress doing other stuff. This is why people at the top of industry run rings round our elected representatives with tax avoidance schemes etc. 

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Errm, I don't think it's actually the politicians who advise on the detail or who administer "tax policy" Trace; it's the civil service - it's for politicians to get them to devise systems without loop holes and systems that maximise revenue, the politicians merely vote on the resulting bills; which for most doesn't require much intelligence, just enough to follow their Leaders through the lobbies.

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I think it has been mentioned, but the life of Parliament & its MPs is now much more open to scrutiny  with up to the minute reporting by numerous media outlets  on the daily goings on in the House ...just like our involvement in various conflicts unfolding around us on the 60 inch tv as we sit eating our good old British mutton vindaloo in the comfort of our own homes. The frailties of our society are no longer hidden behind closed doors.

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We hang petty thieves and appoint the great thieves to public office.
~Aesop, Greek slave & fable author

Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed
by those who are dumber.~Plato, ancient Greek Philosopher

Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where
there is no river.~Nikita Khrushchev, Russian Soviet politician

When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm
beginning to believe it.~Quoted in 'Clarence Darrow for the Defense' by Irving Stone.

Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go
out and buy some more tunnel.~John Quinton, American actor/writer

Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds
from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other.
~Oscar Ameringer, "the Mark Twain of American Socialism."

 I offered my opponents a deal: "if they stop telling lies about me, I will
stop telling the truth about them".~Adlai Stevenson, campaign speech, 1952..

A politician is a fellow who will lay down your life for his country.~Texas Guinan. 19th century American businesswoman

I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be
left to the politicians.~Charles de Gaulle, French general & politician

Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to
change the locks.~Doug Larson (English middle-distance runner who won gold medals at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris, 1902-1981)

 

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