Fixing British Politics

by Steve Gailey 8. December 2014 10:50


With a general election looming in the United Kingdom I thought that I would share with you two very simple ideas to improve the quality of government we have to endure. This is nothing to do with the fact that it seems likely now that the balance of power will be held by the SNP who will ignore the decision of the Scottish people to drive through independence for Scotland as their price for propping up a minority Labour government. Which at this stage is speculation on my part, but lets see… No, this is something far more general which I think would improve the quality of all politicians of every party. Something to be lauded, I’m sure you will agree?

So the first idea is very simple and it is to ensure that politicians are actually qualified to do their jobs and understand the running of government. I would make it a requirement of anyone who joins the executive branch of government – that is who is a member of the cabinet, to pass the Civil Service exam before taking up their post. MP’s should be encouraged to take the exam as soon as they become MP’s or even when they are just parliamentary candidates, to ensure that they are ready in advance. The taking and passing of this exam, which is required for all those administrators who ensure that the countries runs, seems like an obvious requirement for members of parliament who wish to make changes to how things run. You only need to look at some of the failed policies of the past to see that a little education may have saved the country both money and time and a great deal of pain.

The second idea may be a little more controversial, but here goes… All parliamentary candidates, that is anyone wishing to stand as an MP, should first have completed no less than three years service in either one of the emergency services, a branch of the military or in the medical profession at least as a nurse. MP’s are for ever telling us that being an MP is service, but lets face facts, it’s not. Being a nurse, a policeman, fireman or soldier is service. Given that we are all being asked to work until we are about 70 I think three years of real service before you can be a politician is actually very little to ask and it would certainly ensure that they have a little more understanding of real people and their lives. We hear about compassion in politics nowadays but I have seen very little of it. Lets ensure that our politicians have a chance to really understand this before they get to govern us.

These two ideas can be phased in over the life of two or three parliaments easily without them disrupting the business of running Britain. We could even decide to make this simply for new parliamentary candidates to allow some of the old beasts who frequent the House of Commons to continue. It would be interesting to watch the change that rules such as this might make to compassionate politics over time. Unlike most  laws, it is very unlikely to do any harm.

Let me know what you think of this – I want to hear on Linkedin if you like these ideas, have any similar ideas of your own or if you see problems I haven’t considered…

Lets make Britain a better place; regardless of which political party happen to be running it at the time!



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