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Martyn Sadler

Modern politicians - do they achieve power when they are too young?

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My Mam and Dad were at school with Roy Jenkins. He wasn't popular.

 

In Pontypool, even when he was a leading politician, his own generation mostly thought he was not half the man his father was.

 

i tend to agree with them.

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The politicians get younger, the people they look after first get older.

 

But, I tend to agree with the first comment I saw under the article.  Age isn't really the issue.  Some young people will be good at the job, some older people never will be.  The issue is the growing lack of diversity in experience, background, education and culture of most the political class.

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The Labour Party particularly seems to place being young and good looking and a willingness to toe the blairite line above any other considerations

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I suspect the more politicians are born to the job, the smaller the pool and the younger they get to power.  Hence, when they came from all walks of life they tended to be older and experience was required to set you apart. 

 

When the job was the preserve of the upper classes and highest middle classes, Pitt the Younger could get the main job at 24.  Now it is coming back to a specific class and network, the age is drifting down.

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The Labour Party particularly seems to place being young and good looking and a willingness to toe the blairite line above any other considerations

 

well, that will exclude Balls and Miliband on both counts, unless by Blairite you mean electoral expediency...but then again Balls and Miliband can't even do that bit right. What do these guys actually stand for and believe in?  

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well, that will exclude Balls and Miliband on both counts, unless by Blairite you mean electoral expediency...but then again Balls and Miliband can't even do that bit right. What do these guys actually stand for and believe in?

Buggered if I know!!

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The biggest change is career politicians.

 

It is now a case of leave school , pathetic politics degree, a year as a researcher and grovel to the boss and get stuck into a safe seat.

 

As opposed to, graft your way through industry/business as boss or underling, both give a broad experience, and then fight with local rivals to prove you have the credentials.

 

Politics has become business. We are ruled by those that want to ensure that we want to keep them on the gravy train and not by those who want to get evreyone on it.

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I can't think of any politicians I have any respect for at the moment except Frank Field. I believe he is there because he feels he can make a difference irrespective of which party a person supports.

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There's nowt new under the sun.

Pitt the Younger was 24 when he became PM.

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There's nowt new under the sun.

Pitt the Younger was 24 when he became PM.

But life expectancy was only 32 then, so he was actually a pensioner.

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All political discussions should be banned from TV other than for 6 weeks before a general election..

 

If you want to hear or get involved in any political discussion you should be made to get off your arris and go and get involved.

 

Also politicians would have to stand up and be accountable face to face with their electorate.

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The biggest change is career politicians.

 

It is now a case of leave school , pathetic politics degree, a year as a researcher and grovel to the boss and get stuck into a safe seat.

 

As opposed to, graft your way through industry/business as boss or underling, both give a broad experience, and then fight with local rivals to prove you have the credentials.

 

Politics has become business. We are ruled by those that want to ensure that we want to keep them on the gravy train and not by those who want to get evreyone on it.

Wilson was young to be PM but nevertheless he was an experienced minister, as were Thatcher and Major.  Blair wasn't but then who was left that was after 18 years in opposition?  Brown certainly was experienced, much good it did him.  This lot Cameron, Osborne, IDS, etc were very inexperienced and TBH it shows.  Basically Cameron is a PR man trying to pull a big con, will it succeed or won't it, we'll know next year.  It's usually in a government's second term that we learn their true aims.  Personally I preferred it when our leaders had some background of trying to make ends meet. One of the true things Blair said was that you come into power with a large amount of popular support and make mistake after mistake, by the time you're learned how to do it you're no olnger popular.  This should have been true for Wilson, but by the time he came back in 1974 it was clear that he was losing it.

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I don't think age is the issue. I'd love it if Parliament had more young firebrands in there who believed in something and who wanted to change the world.

 

But what is Parliament these days? It's become an excuse-making factory for wider corporate interests. No wonder so many are disgusted or disinterested in it. The age of the people who sit inside it is irrelevant.

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It's this sort of thing, on all sides, that  gets to me: Chuka Umunna as shadow business secretary? Uniquely qualified with his lifetime experience in running a successful business. see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuka_Umunna

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It's this sort of thing, on all sides, that  gets to me: Chuka Umunna as shadow business secretary? Uniquely qualified with his lifetime experience in running a successful business. see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuka_Umunna

Cameron hadn't even run a sweetshop when he became PM.  He was only elected in 2001 to Parliament and by 2005 he was leader of the Tories. Judging by his performance so far a few years finding out what life is really like wold have done him the world of good. Any worthwhile politician would have won hands down in 2010, given an unpopular PM and a government that had run out of steam. BTW why is it John you only seem to be able to find dirt on Labour people? could it be you're not looking for it on the Tories.

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If Labour politicians are to be considered unsuitable for industry portfolios on the basis that they are not businessesmen (sic!), does that mean Tories are disbarred from ministerial jobs that concern human beings?

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Cameron hadn't even run a sweetshop when he became PM.  He was only elected in 2001 to Parliament and by 2005 he was leader of the Tories. Judging by his performance so far a few years finding out what life is really like wold have done him the world of good. Any worthwhile politician would have won hands down in 2010, given an unpopular PM and a government that had run out of steam. BTW why is it John you only seem to be able to find dirt on Labour people? could it be you're not looking for it on the Tories.

 

Have a read of my post again - it's you who chose to polarise the argument: " It's this sort of thing, on all sides, that  gets to me"

 

Umunna is an excellent example of my point, but not the only one, I am sure -  and he certainly hasn't run a sweet shop..nor will he get the opportunity as I doubt he has the skills. There is nothing in his CV to suggest that he has. 

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If Labour politicians are to be considered unsuitable for industry portfolios on the basis that they are not businessesmen (sic!), does that mean Tories are disbarred from ministerial jobs that concern human beings?

 

As Dennis Healy would have said, "What a silly billy you are."  :tongue:  :tongue:

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It's this sort of thing, on all sides, that  gets to me: Chuka Umunna as shadow business secretary? Uniquely qualified with his lifetime experience in running a successful business. see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuka_Umunna

 

At least he has had some (although a brief 8 years) life experience beyond education. There are far worse examples than Chuka Umunna. David Cameron for example who went straight into politics as a researcher from doing his PPE degree. Or George Osborne who did the same (unless you want to count a few months towel folding in Selfridges as life experience). These are arguably the two most powerful men in modern politics but haven't had a proper job between them. 

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Point still holds - I did write "on all sides". Umanna got his business credentials working briefly at a solicitors, Cameron got his as 8 years as Corp Comms Director at Carlton Communications.

 

I merely uses Umanna as an example of the sort of professional politician so criticised in posts on this topic. Fortunately for us all, he is not likely to have to use his "skills" in earnest.

 

Anyway,  my vote goes to Bez!

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I'd love it if Parliament had more young firebrands in there who believed in something and who wanted to change the world.

 

Presumably you're a fan of Vladimir Putin, who seems to be the politician most inclined to change the world at the moment.

 

And I seem to recall there was a young firebrand who wanted to change the world in Germany in the 1930s.

 

You should be careful what you wish for.

 

Firebrands often bring misery in their wake.

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Cameron hadn't even run a sweetshop when he became PM.  He was only elected in 2001 to Parliament and by 2005 he was leader of the Tories. Judging by his performance so far a few years finding out what life is really like wold have done him the world of good. Any worthwhile politician would have won hands down in 2010, given an unpopular PM and a government that had run out of steam. BTW why is it John you only seem to be able to find dirt on Labour people? could it be you're not looking for it on the Tories.

In 2005 the Tories had the chance to vote for David Davis as their leader and they blew it.

 

Davis did have experience of the real world, and in my opinion would have been a far more formidable leader than Cameron.

 

I suspect he would have romped home in 2010.

 

It's interesting that Cameron has kept Davis miles away from the Cabinet since he's been in power.

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Point still holds - I did write "on all sides". Umanna got his business credentials working briefly at a solicitors, Cameron got his as 8 years as Corp Comms Director at Carlton Communications.

 

I know someone who was at Carlton in 2000 (and is a Tory, so no rolling your eyes about bias here) 

 

According to her it was difficult to say what Cameron actually did as he was rarely seen in the office.

 

Maybe he was working from home?

 

 

As for Chukka Umuna, he seems almost completely charm and charisma free.    He has to be one of the dullest people in politics.   He has had a proper job though, as a solicitor.

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