30 March 2009

Generation Next?

With the retirement of 64 MPs at the next general election there will be a few new faces, or rather a few less really old faces with their eyes shut

And so the Independent, in an article that frankly contradicts its respected name, did a feature on a few of the political descendants of current politicians, including another generation of the Benns - you know, the Labour 'man of the people' (who was 2nd Viscount Stansgate)

The author criticises the critics for crying out 'nepotism' - after all, many people follow in their parent's professional footsteps - becoming lawyers, doctors and the like

Only I can see one glaring problem with this rebuttal - to be a lawyer, doctor etc. you need to pass exams - you need to actually have some skill - fine, your well-off parents have given you an advantage - but we all accept that life isn't fair to some degree

But politics does not work the same - there are no exams, only the electorate, who, in the case of Georgia Gould, will happily trudge in to send whoever has the red rosette on this time, probably without looking at who is spewing some politically correct nonsense - if this was the medical profession the equivalent would be being awarded your licence by your daddy

All she has had to do is let her dad, Baron Gould, get her into the party's inner circle and she is parachuted into a safe seat - please tell me how she has earnt that any more than any other 22 year old? (*I do not count 'being able to charm a few people in the inner party' as a worthy skill)

This is as much an abuse of the system as it is nepotism - if she was facing an electorate that weighed up the candidates (ie. real democracy) I wouldn't have such a problem with this, which is why I'm not picking on 18 year old Emily Benn, who is cannon-fodder this time round - but I'm sure won't be for long

I'm all for the young being represented (see archive - Baby-Boomers) and in some ways I'm glad it isn't someone who is a 30-something trained lawyer, but this surely isn't the right way to go about it - the only way a young person gets in is if they have help from the inside, who hold all the cards - not because the people want them - it is, as the article tries to lamely hint at, a further development of the political class - and from the very party that are supposed to represent the 'people....with its three generations of career politicians

Another bloody disgrace of our political system

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