As it refers to Northern Ireland, it may put the many people off reading it. Before the election I took an analysis on the way in which any of the candidates were presenting themselves on the leaflets that they put through the doors. I also found it interesting that there was very little personal approach. As many who have read this blog will know, I have long been of the opinion that the old-time politicians, brought up in an atmosphere of politics, and thoroughly versed in them, have been replaced by people with little experience other than that of a university training.
There were seven candidates, but only one had had experience of serving in Westminster, and very few of the others had had any experience in local government. I was always under the impression that people who were proposing to have a career in politics, mostly started in local government. One contestant’s brochure contained nothing but vitriolic sniping at the other candidates, raising matters out of context and in one case, five years old. The public, I believe, are more astute than to be swayed by such a barrage of random topics, while at the same time giving no impression of having any experience, or any warrantable proposals for when in office. Four issued two leaflets per house, some of which were backed by influential politicians, but only one had a CV that would sway one to give them some consideration. In one instance, one candidate had a name that at first sight, was similar to a well-known local politician, and I am prepared to bet that in the polling booth there was more than one X given on the wrong assumption.
On the whole, I came away feeling worried that if this was the sort of choice open to one, it was unsurprising that we had got into the mess we are today. In any large concern, while there are competent people at the top, it is the quality of the people at the bottom ranks who make the greatest difference to the outcome of any project. When you consider the amount of money the government’s handling, the incredible decisions that are demanded of them, some of which is life-and-death, having naive, half educated, inexperienced people on a very steep learning curve, is a prescription for disaster.
The incumbent, who had been in the job for nine years, had a massive majority which was unsurprising, because of the respect in which they are held, and the level of work that they do. There was one other aspect to this election. A party that once ruled for years on end, had decided to link themselves with the Tories. The public voted with its feet, and it was obvious that the decision had been ill thought out. In Northern Ireland, with our strange tribal atmosphere, when a large part of one particular political approach is reduced due to a split vote, those who adhered to the philosophies of that party suddenly become apathetic as a result of frustration.