Too many politicians

Freedom of Information requests to all councils, devolved assemblies, Westminster and the European Parliament show that, in the financial year 2007/08, just under £500million came from public funds to pay 28,730 professional politicians in the UK.

Thirty years ago, no more than 2,000-3,000 people in the UK were paid with taxpayers\’ money for political work, with the vast majority of representatives, organisers and fundraisers made up of volunteers or party employees.
Anyone want to try and make the claim that we are better governed as a result?

11 thoughts on “Too many politicians”

  1. Go back a little bit further and you would be lucky to find any. And we had an empire to play politics with.

  2. Err… not better, MORE governed by a bunch of “Nazi NuLabour Dicktators”… you bet!

    The country has never been in such a mess as now…

  3. @3 try reading an economic & social history of Britain from 1930-1990.

    The country has been in such an economic mess as now on countless occasions over the last 75 years, and on many of them it also faced significant military threats…

  4. Which works out at an average salary of £17,403 or £8.34/hour.

    My college-dwelling eldest son works part-time in a local chippy for £7.00/hour.

    Hardly surprising the “profession” attracts such idiots.

  5. “The country has been in such an economic mess as now on countless occasions…”

    You know, I’m looking at Sue’s comment, and I just can’t see the word ‘economic’ in there…

    I can see a reference to the excessive and oppressive laws brought in under 10 years of NuLabour, and the few years of the Major government before that.

    But perhaps johnb thinks they are all fine and dandy?

  6. “But perhaps johnb thinks they are all fine and dandy?”

    He has a point about being terribly governed in 1979. Just read about the history of exchange controls (we might well be seeing them again soon..) to see what I mean.

    I think it’s pretty easy for all to see the correlation between statist government of Labour and dreadful ineffective counter-productive bureaucracy.

  7. how can we separate out “better governed” from “does more”? For example, local authorities are now expected to prevent scumbags from beating their own children to death. Presumably, some of growth in the number of these “politicians” is related to the expansion in the scope of government services, as opposed to just raising (or failing to raise) the quality of governance?

  8. “For example, local authorities are now expected to prevent scumbags from beating their own children to death. “

    And they are doing a bang up job, aren’t they?

    “resumably, some of growth in the number of these “politicians” is related to the expansion in the scope of government services..”

    You mean, all those quangos we couldn’t possibly live without…?

  9. @6, yeah, cut the bit where I mention how we’re less screwed than before non-economically, and then pretend I was only talking about economics. Classy.

    @7, use of ‘Labour’ is irrelevant, Tories 1950-1978 equally misrule-y. And why on earth do you think exchange controls are coming back in?

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