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Andy, John & Dave

Sounds like a sixties folk group? You know the sort – sitting on high stools with a finger in one ear putting out sub-dylanesque warblings in grainy black and white. They have three fans left who now all live in a yurt in Wiltshire and speak very slowly due to having spent decades whacked out of their gourds.

Andy Burnham of course was responsible for this:

The Daily Telegraph’s revelation of expenses claims by Members of Parliament showed that Burnham was embroiled in a prolonged battle with the House of Commons Fees Office over the £16,644 cost of renovations and work on a London flat he was buying. The claims, which included a new kitchen, had been repeatedly rejected. Burnham had written three notes asking for the money to be paid, including one at Christmas 2005 which claimed “Otherwise I might be in line for divorce!”

And this:

250,000 women, some of them cancer patients, were sent a leaflet featuring a message from a breast cancer survivor who praised Labour’s health policy. The cards asked: “Are the Tories a change you can afford?”. Both the Tories and the Liberal Democrats called this tasteless, and the Tories have stressed the fact that they actually are calling for more funding for the NHS. Both the Tories and the Liberal Democrats have accused the Labour Party of misuse of NHS data to “blink out” cancer patients. Andy Burnham, the health secretary, said: “It is categorically incorrect to imply that we targeted cancer sufferers, and we regret if any offence or anxiety was given to people who have suffered cancer. “But we make no apology for highlighting the difference between Labour and the Conservatives on cancer care

Of course they were targetted. It’s callous and nasty and smacks of the tactics of a protection racket. It was also politically stupid because iDave was doing his level best to say how strongly he believed in the NHS and Tory policy was to increase NHS funding. Andy just on those two you fail. Next!

John McDonnell is basically an old skool leftie agitator.

…he serves as Chair of the Socialist Campaign Group, the Labour Representation Committee, and the “Public Services Not Private Profit Group“. He is also Parliamentary Convenor of the Trade Union Coordinating Group of eight left-wing trade unions representing over half a million workers.

Quite how one can have public services without someone making a profit to tax clearly escapes the tiny mind of Mr McDonnell. McDonnell is paleo-Labour and we can forget about him as we enter an age of corporate cronyism where profit is fine as long as you sing from the government hymnal.

Milliband Major. I honestly can’t think of much to say except handing him the FCO was almost Brown’s final insult to the nation. Surely someone with a hint of gravitas should represent Britain on the world stage but no… We got that gurning loon. I don’t know what effect he had on the Iranians but he sure scared the hell out of me. For some reason this amuses me…

During the victory celebrations that took place a few weeks later, a burning effigy of Miliband was reported to have been tossed over the gate of the British High Commission in Colombo.

It would appear the Sri Lankans weren’t too keen on him either then.

OK, time to sum up. I recall when I was a kid talking to my Dad about politics and the weird hours the House of Commons kept. He explained that so many of them were lawyers and that those hours enabled them to do both jobs. Now, I’m not sure it’s a good idea to have lawyers legislating but they are surely better than what the three aforementioned gentlemen are for they are politicians by training. With the single exception of MacDonnell who worked “unskilled jobs” for six years, partially whilst doing night school A-Levels to prepare himself for a career in politics, none of them have had a job outside of politics. Just look at their qualifications and their CVs. Professional meddlesome ratbags the lot of ‘em.

Now I bet you’re expecting me to comment on their lack of “real world experience”. That might be a factor but the real point is that it demonstrates to me the extent to which, by becoming a career in itself, politics has become utterly self-serving and entirely about itself. A really vibrant democracy would have representatives from all walks of life: soldiers, sailors and cake decorators. Instead what we have is politics as a profession in the same way dentistry or civil engineering is. You get the appropriate qualifications (OK I’ll admit Andy Burnham’s degree is in Eng Lit which is a blessed relief from the litany of political “science” degrees) and then you work your way up. Perhaps somebody ought to remind these folks of the etymology of the word “democracy” because the serpent is devouring it’s tail. Well, that’s the high falutin’ way of putting it because I think I’ve worn the mass debate joke a little thin of late.


  1. Lynne says:

    And we never got to hand them their concrete overcoats on the way out. Shame…

  2. JohnRS says:

    The old saw about not letting anyone be in power who actually wanted the job is never truer than when applied to a politician.

    I know its very anti-libertarian, but maybe we should have a new law to ban anyone who’s ever studied politics or been a member of any politican organisation or union from ever standing for the House of Conmen. Also it should be your last job, you must never be allowed to do anything else afterwards that earns money….no consulting, directorships, union posts, lecture tours etc so no influence peddling.

    I couldnt be any worse than what we currently have.

  3. Sam Duncan says:

    I completely agree, Nick. A professional cartel hijacking our system of government isn’t democracy. It’s like getting a bloke in to put up some shelves, then claiming it was DIY because you had to decide between Smith’s Carpentry and Bloggs the Joiner (who run a price-fixing agreement and use the same supplier).

    Oh, and try to really do it yourself, or start a small business to compete with the giants Bloggs and Smith, and you’ll find that they’ve set up a trade organisation to lobby for safety regulations and taxes on supplies and equipment that make it completely impractical.

    Peter Oborne got one thing wrong in his book The Triumph of the Political Class: the title. It’s not a class, it’s a cartel. And it should be broken. I’ve thought along similar lines to JohnRS for years, and I’m not so sure it is so un-libertarian since you would have a choice: if you want to stand for elected office, go and do a real job first.

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