Sunday, August 19, 2018

Britain is ruled by a bluffocracy

There's a good article by James Ball and James Greenway in the Spectator this week.

They write:
Any time we see a politician fail, or an idiotic policy collapse as it passes through parliament - which these days seems like a regular occurrence - we are left with a familiar feeling. That this screw-up is the result of a chancer at work. Someone who has, at the very best, a shallow understanding of the country they’re trying to govern. Someone who knew how to come up with a headline-grabbing idea, and how to make it sound convincing and radical - but didn’t ever have the faintest idea how to implement it. 
What we see perhaps less often is that the UK has - for a variety of cultural, social, and economic reasons - set up our public life so that the chancers are best suited to the system, and are most likely to rise to the top.
You can hear them talking about the ideas in their article on the latest Spectator Podcast.


nigel hunter said...

You can put Chris Grayling down in this category, He has no clue!.

Phil Beesley said...

Wasn't it always like this? Was there ever a golden age?

Think about Yes Minister which the authors managed to spin out for 38 episodes. In the 1980s, most MPs came from the talking professions, the most common occupations being solicitor or barrister. Ken Clarke's reputation as a minister was based on luck (economic upturn in the early 1990s) or being reshuffled before any initiatives came into effect.

A significant change might be the rise of the professional politician and new career paths parallel to Westminster and the media. Liberal MP Matthew Taylor and the SDP's Charles Kennedy were early examples of the career politician. But in the "real world", every job has a euphemistic or inflated title.

Mark Wellington said...

“The major problem—one of the major problems, for there are several—one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them.
To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it.
To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”
(Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe)