Older readers might well remember the late Sir Harry Secombe’s popular song, If I Ruled The World. It came instantly to mind whilst reading the Jared O’Mara, (MP for Hallam), article in Tuesday’s Sheffield Star, (August 15).
While I appreciate Jared’s sincere and heartfelt sentiment that he would like to see more young MPs in Parliament, along with greater transgender representation, ethnicity etc, I can’t help but feel that this 20th century notion and its politically correct extensions, (shared by many others in this country), is symptomatic of the fact that we in the UK are badly governed, not just at a national but also at a local level.
Stark reality dictates that there are certain roles in life that require people of ability – ‘doers’ and ‘achievers’ – with proven track records of success at the highest level. Their ethnicity, gender is irrelevant. I appreciate that getting such people to stand for Government is difficult. At a lower level, aspiration in political candidates is laudable but in itself it is totally inadequate for the many important tasks facing this country in the coming years should Brexit occur or not. Such reality ticks few of the representational boxes so beloved by current politicians and the public sector.
Imagine giving the job of senior air traffic controller to a ward nurse – or how about director of the Bank of England to a metallurgist. Come to think of it, I quite fancy the job of Sheffield Wednesday’s coach, (although I haven’t kicked a ball in competition for 40 years and have never even managed a 5-a-side team – but I’m keen, honest).
Only a complete fool would follow such notions. And yet, every so often we elect aspirants to govern us armed with CVs that are inadequate to the needs of the country and its people. We then grumble until the next dose of democracy as to the state of the country and why it is that we can’t maintain our essential services or our infrastructure and always seem to be in, or headed for, another recession complete with an economy of dead-end poorly paid jobs.
Yes I know that interaction with real people and their day-to-day problems such as paying the rent is essential but in terms of dynamic governance can any of our local politicians tell us the last successful large business they ran?
How about the performance of a life-saving medical operation? No? What about a major building or civil engineering project they helped design and implement? Or how about a multi-million pound piece of bio-chemical research they funded and sold worldwide?
Still struggling? Senior command in the armed forces? What about Chief Constable? Sorry Jared, I know you’re sincere in your desires and I hope you make a terrific difference for the people of Hallam but aspiration and equal social representation is no longer enough if the UK is to thrive economically in the 21st century.