I started to write about our political scene before I heard of the loss of personal information of half our population. The loss didn’t surprise me as I have been preaching that Government, from top to bottom, is computer illiterate, vulnerable to the computer technocrats, and thinks big is beautiful, when in fact in computing big is dangerous from a number of aspects.
In the past, many of our politicians were drawn from the ‘landed gentry’, those with inherited wealth and often from a family with political antecedents. Like the retired to day, they had time on their hands to allow them to think, criticise, and in the case of the wealthy, if inclined, actually to go into politics. Today, politicians are recruited, could be foisted on a constituency, if elected sit on the back benches, possibly still with a career elsewhere, until they are placed in office, still inexperienced. In office they are playing catch-up and too busy to think and criticise.
Politics is applied man management on a big scale and being a minister it is also on a small scale, and is not learned over night. Rising through the ranks in any big industry, one soon learns that to succeed one requires a pervasive sharp, incisive wit and a listening ear. A sense of humour is essential in smoothing relationships and getting the best out of people, providing it is not perceived as patronising. Control and discipline are a given. An essential element is also a cynical mind which can easily sort the wheat from the chaff. Some people are serious by nature, others morose. They can’t help this, and it is impossible to gauge whether they are less happy than we are, but it can be an impediment to promotion, and if promoted, a barrier in relationships.
I believe the attributes that apply to good government, should be wisdom, probity and fairness and must be taken for granted. No matter how amusing a politician is, if he isn’t patently honest and competent, is impetuous, doesn’t treat his underlings with the respect they warrant, makes and acts on his own ideas and policies without reference, he will have failed. If he appears to be academic and humourless, he will only appeal to some, who are similarly inclined. If he is spontaneous when he should ponder, and ponders when action is needed, he will soon lose face. Senior politicians should, above all, give respect to the opinions of those they have placed in office, anything else is a prescription for chaos. As I have said before, if you want the best you must pay for it dearly, but ensure you are getting value for money. Politicians are not God, in spite of what they appear to think, they are the servants of the public. My problem is that I don’t believe all they tell me, there is severe mismanagement through change for the sake of change, legislation on a total front without proof of success, trying to achieve the unattainable in the time set, and making rash statement to appease disapproval. Those in control should never seek to be loved, if it is not spontaneous, it will never happen, to court it by legislation is another prescription for disaster and chaos.
Identity Cards. With an influx of foreigners in an uncounted million, or probably an awful lot more, some form of check is essential, but on the face of it, forcing 60M residents to purchase, totally unnecessary cards to be able to check on 1.67 % seems not only ludicrous, it is a criminal waste of money. I realise the problem is that criminals are so pervasive, sophisticated and competent, (the better ones – or worse – coming from Russia, I am told,) that they will subvert any system we put in place. By the same token, if the government is to go on repeatedly playing into their hands, what is the point of such an expensive system with so much personal and useful data being included and then given to the criminals? The banks etc are constantly spraying junk mail and making TV viewers sit through endless adverts for cards. Why can’t we harness them to provide cards on the submission of two photos and two or three pounds, they will have achieved their desire for us to run up more debt, and we will have something which, while not fool proof, only partially fulfilling the need for checks, will be better than what we have today. I personally wouldn’t mind a discreet tattoo, if that would help, somewhere easily accessible, like cattle behind the ear? Although, please, no hole in the ear. On second thoughts, even that wouldn’t work!