The glory of Ritchielogic

If you think MPs have no useful skills then you clearly have no faith in democracy

Err, this is actually the point of this democracy thing. MPs don\’t have to have any useful skills nor any specific ones. This is the entire substance of the matter: they are and should be just us the public writ large.

They aren\’t the managers of us you know: they\’re the people\’s representatives over the machinery of state.

14 thoughts on “The glory of Ritchielogic”

  1. So Much for Subtlety

    Well I suppose he does have half a point – being a politician takes a certain degree of low cunning and a, shall we say, interesting degree of moral flexibility. So he may be on to something for once.

    But as usual, not really. It sounds like he is just in awe of our Elders and Betters and thinks we ought to worship them and give thanks that they rule us.

  2. Ritchie wouldn’t understand your logic. In every Lefties’ DNA is imprinted that MP’s are the State’s enablers over the people.

  3. There does happen to be a requirement for MPs to be more than just their constituents’ representatives.

    I’m pretty sure most backbench MPs spend well over half their time dealing with constitients’ issues with Town Hall bureaucracy, benefits, complaints against hospitals/police/landlords, planning issues,immigration status, provision of local services etc etc etc.

    If the MP was to say “Sorry, I’m a former geography teacher/City banker/accountant from Wandsworth and I haven’t any more clue about the benefits system than you” I don’t suspect they would get very far.

  4. In my case Ritche is quite right – I’ve very little faith in democracy – it seem to result in rule by idiots, criminals and pressure groups.
    However I tend to put up with it as all the alternatives have historically turned out much worse.

    Stiill means I have more respect for the average binman than a typical MP.

  5. Shinsei, I’ve dealt with MP correspondence when working for the DWP. They have no clue. What they want and whats legal can be entirely different things.
    I expect they have staff to research matters and write letters. Signing things doesn’t take much effort, may even be read before signing.

  6. But isn’t Shinsei’s point more that we expect MPs to ‘champion’ their constituents against bureacracy/hospitals/police/landlords etc, than be well versed in the fine detail.

  7. ukliberty,

    But isn’t Shinsei’s point more that we expect MPs to ‘champion’ their constituents against bureacracy/hospitals/police/landlords etc, than be well versed in the fine detail.

    The problem is that they can rarely “champion” for their constituents, because most of the things that they “champion” are outside of their hands. They’ll appear in photoshoots, but I’m pretty damn sure that quite a lot of them know it’s futile.

    What MPs are actually doing is simply self-promotion. Showing that they are keen to say, stop development for the NIMBYs, that sort of thing, but they have basically no influence over such matters.

    We have collosally bad government because we hire people who are skilled in deception. Unsurprisingly, they’re also a bunch of crooks with their expenses.

  8. I think people here are using a very loose definition of the term “skill”. I suppose riding a a Segway in front of a camera might be considered a “skill” by some, as would finding inventive ways to claim “expenses”.

  9. “What MPs are actually doing is simply self-promotion. ”

    Not always: my MP suddenly appears near an election, so I assume he’s discreetly doing something other than promoting himself when he’s otherwise invisible. Fairly safe seat, obviously.

  10. So Much for Subtlety

    Shinsei67 – “I’m pretty sure most backbench MPs spend well over half their time dealing with constitients’ issues with Town Hall bureaucracy, benefits, complaints against hospitals/police/landlords, planning issues,immigration status, provision of local services etc etc etc.”

    I am sure. But does the MP need to know anything about any of these issues? Does he actually need to do anything, you know, effective for his constituents? After all, most of these issues will resolve themselves given time. So if the MP writes a stern letter, which no one reads, most of the time it will sort itself out and the MP can claim credit. If not, they can say they tried, but alas there was nothing they could do.

    So the skill set they need is a form letter and a shameless sense of self promotion.

    “If the MP was to say “Sorry, I’m a former geography teacher/City banker/accountant from Wandsworth and I haven’t any more clue about the benefits system than you” I don’t suspect they would get very far.”

    So they need some rat-like cunning and an ability to take credit for the work of others. Not an impressive skill set really.

    I used to know a nice Catholic girl who happened to live in Iain Paisley’s constituency. Odd I know. Even odder was that she voted for him. When I asked how she could do such a thing, she said she didn’t like his politics but he was a really good member – answered people’s letters, got things done, fixed things that needed fixing. So I suppose it is possible some of them are good at it. Not the sort of role model Ritchie was thinking of I’d guess though.

    Tim adds: Paisley the elder is well known as a bigot and also one of the best constituency MPs in the country. Ms. Solent has said so therefore it is true.

  11. To: various posters

    My point was merely that many here (including myself) would feel able to partake in a BBC Question Time panel (one has interesting and informed comments about the economy, or education, or pension reform or our place in the EU) but would be utterly flummoxed by the type of issues brought to you on day one as a constituency MP.

    I’ve literally no idea how new MPs manage it.

  12. Paisley the elder is well known as a bigot and also one of the best constituency MPs in the country.

    He was also quite pleasant to have a drink with. Given his PR personality (ranting, if not actually raving, bigot), I was quite surprised.

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