“All political motives are flawed…”

From the Daily Telegraph obit team (themselves the most hearty group of real journalists it has been my pleasure to encounter) on Charles Wheeler:

As a general rule he held politicians in low esteem and avoided meeting them socially. His reports on such programmes as Panorama and Newsnight, as well as countless BBC news bulletins, seemed to suggest that all political motives are flawed and that information must be judged accordingly.

I happen to like most politicians, and confess a certain human sympathy with the almost impossible task of bringing good and coherent government, whilst fighting manfully to retain a mandate at the next election. But you cannot report accurately what’s actually going on, if you don’t recognise – and try account for – the flaws in most political statements.

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  • getthefacts

    Mick “I happen to like most politicians, and confess a certain human sympathy with the almost impossible task of bringing good and coherent government, whilst fighting manfully to retain a mandate at the next election.”

    You bring tears to my eyes! And there was me thinking that all that drove most of them was power, prestige and an excellent salary/expenses package compared with most of the electorate.

    Why have you bought into their sob story? What about the electorate who have the “almost impossible task” of trying to get these guys to “bringing good and coherent government” to the country, while their views are ignored until the next election, when the grinning politician “manfully” stares into the voters face with the cheek to ask for their vote, so that they can ignore them again for a few more years.

    The bulk of them are a bunch of self seeking egotists who do not care a toss for the electorate. What about a bit of “human sympathy” for the public who have lost confidence in these guys and a party political system which looks after a self serving political clique whose primary objective is to keep itself in power.

  • Bob Wilson

    So did Charles Wheeler avoid his daughter Marina’s husband?

  • Greenflag

    ‘As a general rule he held politicians in low esteem ‘

    ‘The bulk of them are a bunch of self seeking egotists who do not care a toss for the electorate’

    ‘A politician is somebody who will lay down your life for his country ‘

    Whether we like them or not elected politicians in the final analysis are the sticky glue which keeps society from disintegrating into it’s various factions-interest groups-classes etc etc and without them there would be an eternal war with the last one left standing holding all the loot and all the weapons .

    Being a successful politician under the PR system (being elected to office twice) in the Republic requires the mix of skills of an acrobat on the high trapeze, a heavyweight skating on thin ice, and an octupus trying to stand on one leg . Not easy . Being elected as MP for Chelsea by comparison is a walk in the park as long as you wear a blue rosette .

    One can hope that in NI -local politicians will eventually through darwinian selection via PR evolve into effective duplicates of their Dail equivalents and thus give good governance if not always then at least enough of the time to make their ‘salaries’ worth paying for .

  • Mick Fealty

    gtf:

    Churchill: the least worst system, except for all the others. More from me in that Spectator debate last week: http://url.ie/i3b.

    Bottom line is that I don’t think cynicism is useful as a tool of enquiry. Wheeler was not one either, but there are plenty currently in the press.

    My view is that you start out believing in the legitimacy of democratic office and only suspend that belief as falsifying facts come to hand. Then you document them, and build them into the ongoing narrative.

    What exactly can you bring to the party (as a journalist/commentator) if you begin your work with the belief they are all beyond redemption?

    Nothing, I humbly submit, but a precise replication of your own prejudices.

  • Billy Ghoti

    Re: “I happen to like most politicians” …….

    But you would say that, wouldn’t you?

  • Mick Fealty

    BG:

    And your point in quoting Mandy Rice-Davis is?

  • “As a general rule he held politicians in low esteem”

    Doubtless his son-in-law Boris getting his legover with Petronella Wyatt didn’t go down well.

  • Llamedos

    Nowadays I think most of the new entrants see this as a career path which once they,ve got on the slippery pole they expect if they fall off to be rewarded by the body politique with three or four qangoes until they get re-elected. The great attractions are the gargantuan amounts of nearly unlimited cash awaiting to be consumed from the porcine trough.
    Some as we well know have triple mandates with very well paid ministries on top; by this all too characteristic behaviour it is little wonder that the informed political activees in the electorate are exceedingly dissatified with the overall performance, attendance records, expense claims, lack of real knowledge of life and earning a proper living, and the general political stitch up as a result of a totally non workable in the long run de Hondt form of government.
    Where were certain MPs at critical votes? Why did the Northern Ireland body politique stupidly and with a great show of total indifference attempt to desroy the Bill of Rights set out in Magna Carta. This was the behaviour of Legislative Philistines but the DUP and Lady Herman think they are unshiftable by the electorate. One little tip for the inhabitants of this ivory tower Gordon Brown might even succeed in losing Cowdenbeath at the next election. No one person is safe the watershed has been reached we have enough.