Monday, January 23, 2006

Why Would Anyone Want to Go Into Politics?

I'm doing the newspaper review at a quarter past midnight on BBC News 24. So if you can't sleep... and would like to be put to sleep, do tune in! And at 7.10am tomorrow morning I shall be doing an interview with one of my TV heroines, Anne Diamond (albeit on BBC Radio Oxford!) on the subject of "why on earth would anyone want to go into politics?" If you have any bright ideas on what I should say feel free to post a comment, cos at the moment I'm buggered if I know... if you'll excuse the expression...

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm a conserveative councillor, up for re-election this year.
Politics is very egocentric. For me it has many appeal elements.
The planning and strategy of a campaign, that then works!
Helping people out, them finding that others actually bother to go out a vote for you because (you kid yourself) they like you as a person.
Perhaps because we need that endorsement, we are emotionally incomplete, and that may lead us to persue endorsement so desparately, we are prepared even to compromise ourselves, to feed our dependancy.

Andrew Woodman said...

Who is it who says it's showbiz for ugly people?

Hayek's Grandad said...

Because it's a lot easier than having to get a real job. You get 60-140K p/a. You get 50K expenses. You get longer holidays than even university lecturers. You don't have to take responsibility for your actions since you simply follow civil service advice. You get to impress your chums by giving them gongs and well paid jobs. You get free flats which you don't even have to pay tax for.

In return you have to shake a few hands and kiss a few babies once every 4-5 years.

Why would anyone not go into politics or perhaps that's just 'new' politics.

Anonymous said...

to control the serfs?

Anonymous said...

To spend less time with your family.

James Cleverly said...

Iain,

I for one got into this because I got fed up with shouting at the TV in 1998/1999, or rather my wife got fed up with me shouting. I felt that rather than being a bystander and complaining I should get involved and change things. As Eldridge Cleaver once said “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem”.

If you get a chance, tell them how many hoops we have to jump through to do this, and how time consuming it is, and how much it costs, and how pissed of your family, friends, loved ones get etc. etc. etc. I am really fed up with people thinking that politics it is a bolt hole for freeloaders.

James

Modern Conservative said...

"Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us here the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own." JFK's: Inaugural Address - How can people hear words like that and not want to get into politics.

L. D. Herron said...

Why would anyone go into politics?
Fame, power, money, perks all at an
inflated salary and the added benefit of looking piously into the
camera or crowd and saying "I did
all of this for you. I love serving my fellow man." If there were no set salary for Congress you
still couldn't beat them away with a crowbar. Some people shovel shit
for a living. The tradeoffs in politics is enormous .

Anonymous said...

Stayed up to watch the Paper review. One comment of note - as someone with Welsh blood I find Anne Robinson particularly loathesome and thus back the North Wales Police force to the hilt in their efforts to incarcerate the witch.

Anonymous said...

The pay issue mentioned above should be knocked on the head. Had Iain been elected in North Norfolk he would probably have had to take a major paycut. His opponent had been a senior partner at a leading regional law firm and I suspect if I said being elected
halved his income, that would be a very conservative estimate. I make no claims of poverty for MPs but the fact is that many are highly capable individuals and if you think MPs' salaries are high for such individuals you lead very sheltered lives.

Anonymous said...

I would add to the comment on pay that Iain worked extremely hard on his campaign but has never made a penny out of the game. His opponent worked the seat for more than a decade before being elected and came a handful of votes away from it all being pointless in 2001. This lazy, jealous nonsense about people from all parties being in it for the money or the easy life makes my blood boil. With a handful of exceptions it is without basis, and it is the kind of dismal sneering that discourages good people - like both Iain and Norman - from bothering with it all.

Wat Tyler said...

Hate to recommend Paxo, but I presume you've all read The Political Animal. IIRC it's something to do with compensating for a dysfunctional family background. Present company excepted, obviously.

Anonymous said...

Paxman's book was quite interesting. I thought of it when I saw his "Who Do You Think You Are?" the other day. I thought his mistake, however, was that he assumed that politicians were somehow out of the ordinary in quite often having dysfunctional family backgrounds. The backgrounds of some are better documented than those of us mere mortals but lots of people have "interesting" family histories - excessive normality is in many ways abnormal.

It also struck me watching the documentary/obituary on Ted Heath a few months back. They tried to make something of the supposed fact that he was fond of his mother and his father was a fairly distant figure. With some people the balance is the other way or more extreme or more in between. But Heath's childhood seemed so clearly within the range of what constitutes a normal childhood (particularly at the time when fathers were maybe less proactive) that I wondered whether it was worth mentioning except to fill air time.

Serf said...

...... to control the serfs?.......

To stop being one of the Serfs

Tory Convert said...

Because not to try to provide some input into how your country could be run for the better is an abdication of responsibility.

Sorry ... a very dull and worthy-sounding answer. But genuinely what I think.