Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The House of Mediocrity

One of the strangest things about Gordon Brown's premiership has been the fact that at the time when Blair stepped down and Brown took over there wasn't a single person in the Parliamentary Labour Party who apparently thought they would do a better job - but ever since he took over there has been virtually non-stop talk of challenges and potential candidates being put forward.

First it was Milliband, then Balls, Harman and Johnson. There may be one or two I missed - and I may not have got it in the right order - but one thing stands out about that list.

There isn't a single decent politician among them.

Milliband was hotly favoured at one time, but his lamentable performances as Foreign Secretary have demonstrated to most that he is wholly unqualified for even that post let alone the Prime Minister.

Balls looks increasingly like a startled rabbit in his role in education. You'd think one of the qualities required for being in charge of education would be to have had some yourself - Balls stuttering and spluttering reveals that out of his comfort zone he really is lacking.

Harman ... well, I could go on all day about Harman. She's proven herself to be crap at every thing she has ever done. Not only does she get trounced by opposition spokesmen in parliament, but her appearances on BBC Question Time demonstrate that she routinely gets flustered and beaten in debate by 18 year olds from Barnsley. A PM who can't hold their own in an argument with a spotty teenager isn't likely to have much joy against the Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party.

Which leaves Johnson. Alan Johnson is as mediocre as they come, but the quality of parliamentarian he is up against today is so low that he actually stands out as one of the shining lights of the Labour Party and a potential leader. What does that tell us about politics today?

When I peruse the front benches of the modern political parties, I can not help thinking that there are very few who would be there on merit thirty years ago. It's a compliment to the Tory Party that most of the few there are come from the opposition. Cameron, to give him his due, could probably make it as minister in one of the smaller departments. Hague is the only one who I think could make it in one of the top jobs - maybe even PM. Beyond that there is the amiable (if not especially capable) Vince Cable from the Lib Dems and ...... that't it.

The rest would have struggled to get noticed in politics thirty years ago or so - and those from that era were hardly the greatest bunch we've seen! For me, it's one of the most troubling aspects of our political landscape today - the almost complete lack of quality politicians. Yes, I know that is something of an oxymoron, but there always used to be a dozen or so that stood out strongly.

I really don't think that is the case today. Something has gone badly wrong with the production line of politicians. Looking beyond the current crop, who do we see coming through as having potential? I can't think of anyone off the top of my head - just more mediocrity.


Anonymous said...

Well let's put it this way, Mr. Stan - would YOU go into politics today?

Think of the ghastliness of the selection process (sucking up to all those idiots, mouthing all the politically-correct claptrap), remember how your private life will be torn open and laughed at (if there are no skeletons in your cupboard, the media will soon invent a few), you'll be vilified and scorned by practically everyone, and to cap it all you have no real power, Brussels makes all the rules and tells you what to do. And think of the company you'd have to keep - timeservers and jumped-up prats all around.

Would you do it?

Stan said...

In a way, I am involved in politics, but to answer your question - yes I would if I had the time. However, it would not be with any of the mainstream parties.

I'm actively looking for a party to support, join and become active in - I just can't find one!

My motivation is not pursuit of fame or monetary reward - I just want to do something to restore and preserve the nation that I love and which I enjoyed growing up in for my children and their children.

This is why I want to reverse so many of the changes that have occured over the last 50 years. Not because I hanker for some mythical golden age, but simply because it is so so wrong for our generation to deprive future generations of the joys and delights which we experienced as youngsters growing up in Britain.

Yes there were problems - but nothing like the scale we have today. Was it tough for gay kids? Probably - but why does that mean we have to sexualise our own kids and force them to grow up faster than they need to? Was it tough for black kids? Almost certainly - but by and large they weren't being murdered, criminalised and ivolved in drugs and gangs the way they are today. Was it tough on girls? Not really - women have enjoyed the same opportunities as men for long before women's lib came along - it's just that most weren't interested. After decades of being told by the sisterhood they ought to be they are increasingly finding that the promised utopia has turned out to be a totally false hope and instead more and more of them are consigned to live lives on benefits with little hope for the future and so instead turn to drugs, drink or any bloke who shows them some "affection".

I'm not as naive as this current bunch of politicians who seem to think you can have a perfect world for everyone. You can't. What you should aim for is to make the best you can for most people.

Anonymous said...

Hi Stan,

I know this is unrelated to the post, but I just wanted to ask your opinion on the recent controversy regarding Jacqui Smith's banning of Michael Savage from the UK.

I think it's shocking. I seriously hope he has a case for litigation against her.


Stan said...

To be honest, I'm not familiar enough with Savage to be able to say really. I know he has strong views on various issues, but being opposed to immigration or gay marriage shouldn't be enough on it's own to warrant being banning from coming into Britain.

There are clearly some people who it is quite right to ban - those who openly advocate violence in particular - but as a general rule I don't think anyone should be banned just because their opinion doesn't fit the prevailing political opinion

Letters From A Tory said...

Johnson looks good because he says nothing, does nothing, promises nothing and doesn't fiddle his expenses (as far as we know).

Hardly glowing praise, is it.

Stan said...

Exactly, LFAT. Johnson only stands out because he's surrounded by useless politicians and has, thus far, managed not to say or do anything too outrageous. He's as grey and anonymous as ..... John Major!

Anonymous said...


Stan, here's a link to Savage's podcasts. He's already responded on his programme to Jacqui Smith, calling her a witch. :) He's got 7 lawyers working on whether or not he has a case to sue her.

I'm very familiar with his shows. Yes, he has very "right-wing" views, but 99% of the time he just says what most of us are thinking.

This has actually shocked me more than anything in the past - more than 9/11 even. That might sound strange to you, but if you've listened to Michael Savage as much as I have, you'd realize that this is the latest authoritarian measure by a Big Brother government obsessed with this marxist political correctness.

I'm no conspiracy nut, but given his opinions on things from Obama to global warming, I think there could have been some secret hand-shaking going on behind closed doors between the US and the UK. The Democrats are wanting to bring the Fairness Doctrine back for the media in order to regulate Conservative talk show hosts like Savage. This could be a move to pave the way for this.

I can't tell you how angry I am over this. I just hope that Savage's legal action is successful. That woman is unfit for purpose. I know you might think I'm overreacting, but it's about freedom. Yes, it's Mike Savage today, but who's it going to be tomorrow?


Stan said...

From what I've heard today, Lawrence, I'd say the ban on Savege is pretty hard to justify. That said, I find it very hard to understand much of what this government says or does.

Anonymous said...

I've just caught a clip of a media lawyer who reckons lawyers will be falling over themselves to represent Savage, as he's clearly got a case for defamation of character.

Here's a suggestion as to why this ban may have occurred: