Slugger Awards: “Politics would be better if only politicians would….”

We’re never done telling politicians what they should not be doing. Here’s a chance to help define what we want them to do more of.

As many of you will already know, we are relying on you to help us develop the Slugger Awards categories this year. If it works, it will be a multi-layered process: including a Dragon’s Den type breakfast event later in the Autumn. But we need to get started with as many ideas as possible.

Today we continue on from looking at the media to politicians. Once again the ‘provocation’ is deliberately short, so as many people can give us their ideas as to what would make for a better politics in Northern Ireland.

So all you have to do is finish this sentence: “Politics would be better if only Politicians would….”

Usual Slugger Awards rules apply. In other words, just try to complete the proposition and negatives (for example, screeds about what they shouldn’t be doing) will be removed on sight…

Otherwise, just make it short and to the point. And have a bit of fun with it..

,

  • joeCanuck

    … be good constituency representatives, engaging all of their electorate in non-Party political issues rather than just those that they think voted or may vote for them.

  • joeCanuck

    …hold at least an annual open house meeting where she/he could report directly on what had been happening at the Assembly/Westminster, her/his part in it, and take questions from the floor.

  • Alias

    …choose a different career.

    …consider the national interest once in a blue moon.

    (I suggest a “Politics would be better if only voters would…” category since it all hangs on what the voters do.)

  • joeCanuck

    Should be , Alias. Unfortunately voters in many democracies really don’t have a lot of say since they are usually just faced with party hacks. They would be better served if there was a ballot option :” None of the above” forcing a new election in the constituency with different candidates. I think Russia did that in the 90s. Don’t know if they still do.

  • wild turkey

    … fired their spin merchants and speak their own words plainly, clearly and TRUTHFULLY. In doing so, they can chose to treat the body politic as if it had an IQ above the speed limit.

    those who are serious about the business of politics and governance, and want an A star, should consider at least having a passing acquaintance with Montaigne

    “Lying is an accursed vice. It is only our words which bind us together and make us human. If we realized the horror and weight of lying, we would see that it is more worthy of the stake than other crimes . . . . Once let the tongue acquire the habit of lying and it is astonishing how impossible it is to make it give it up”

  • Politics would be better if only politicians would …..begin building trust in politics, trust of each other, trust between parties, trust in themselves by the governed, and trust with the governed whether as an individual or as a member of an organisation in the public, private and third sectors.

    So the award would be for building trust. NB not blind faith but measurable building blocks of trust e.g MLAs retrospectively publishing their schedules a week later.

  • Politics would be better if only politicians would take sodium pentathol and tell the truth.

    And for those readers who have read both my posts in sequence this is the serious post, the one above is laughable.

  • pippakin

    Politics would be better if politicians were not allowed to become MPs before they had acquired some actual work experience, and I’m not referring to those cosy ‘boys club’ jobs. It would also help if they had the slightest idea what it is like to live on the minimum wage.

  • joeCanuck

    ..think twice and deeply, considering all sides, before publicly making an utterance about something which has become newsworthy.

    I realize that this might be considered a “don’t do”.

  • joeCanuck

    That would have eliminated Bernadette Devlin McAliskey who was effective in her own way for a time. And Reginald wouldn’t have had his face slapped.

  • pippakin

    joe

    The exception that proves the rule… Name one before or since. It was sheer joy to see Reggie get a slap. No amount of bombs could get near that moment, or that effect!

  • Tony Clerk

    retire at 30.

  • The Raven

    …realise that we want someone else to run for a change.

  • mopphead

    Politics would be better if politicians spent less time reading inane comments on blogs

  • lamhdearg

    i must not say what i think

  • pippakin

    lamdhearg

    Are you suggesting they think? I thought a thinking politician was an extinct breed. Now they just take the money (as much as possible) and do as they are told.

  • lamhdearg

    sorry pip but it is i that must not say what i think they should do. Also i agree with your point on money. in the past i feel there where more of them in it for the good acts that being in power allow them to preform, but maybe thats me just getting old.

  • pippakin

    lamdhearg

    My mistake! lol. It just sounded so like any MP you could mention!

  • joeCanuck

    would… agree to halve the number of representatives in the Assembly.

  • joeCanuck

    Dammit. Robinson has stolen my idea except he wants 75 MLAs instead of 54.

  • Drumlin Rock

    let their action speak louder than their words.

  • Alias

    True, and a point I’ve often made (in support of the abolition of political parties). However, it isn’t inconsistent with the above. Voters could refuse to vote for sectarian murderers, bigots, bog-trotters, assorted underacheivers, uneducated dolts and degenerates, ect, if they exercised the modium of commonsense that would inform them that complex matters of state and finance, law, etc, are not best determined by unmitigated cretins of such ilk. How hard can it actually be to grasp electing folks to run a country that aren’t qualified to run a chip shop isn’t likely to produce to produce a successul outcome?

  • Alias

    …recognise that politics should be a service offered by the great and the good for the common good and not an alternative career for underachievers.

  • Politicians have all sorts of free tools that they didn’t have a few years ago. I think politics would be a lot better if a lot more politicians understood how easy it is to test their thinking, engage in debate, make connections, persuade / be persuaded, educate people about their work, crowdsource wisdom and judgment intelligently (and not in a crude ‘tell me what you think and I’ll vote for it’ kind of way).

  • joeCanuck

    Interesting, Alias.
    I have been plodding my way through DeToqueville’s Democracy in America. Granted he was writing 170 years or so ago but he stressed many times that the great and the good didn’t run for public office, except in the first few years after independence. Instead it was exactly underachievers and scamps in some cases who ran. Is it really different today?

  • Alias

    Or just read Daniwl Hannan’s ‘The Plan’ – most of Cameron’s ideas along such lines orginate in it.

  • Alias

    I’m unconvinced by those who tell me that idiots and ne-er-do-wells are the most qualified to handle complex matters of state.

  • pippakin

    joe

    In answer to your question – no, no different at all.

    Bernadette Devlin McAliskey may have been the first and last of her kind.

    It’s all career politicians now, take a look at ED Milliband.

  • Alias

    ne’er-do-wells (sorry about egregious typing skills)

  • No. Under no circumstances should any politician read Daniel Hannan’s book unless they’re gathering evidence for a post-revolutionary trial.

  • wild turkey

    Joe

    DeToqueville’s Democracy in America a great read. still resonates today although you won’t find it on any american high school history reading lists.

    ah, there is a school of thought that hypothesises that the whole thing went irretrievably downhill with the election of Andrew Jackson in 1828…. now where did his people originate from?

  • Reggie: So come on, Jimmy, who are you going to fight when this balloon of yours goes up?

    Jimmy: Forces of anarchy: wreckers of law and order. Communists, Maoists, Trotskyists, neo-Trotskyists, crypto-Trotskyists, union leaders, Communist union leaders, atheists, agnostics, long-haired weirdos, short-haired weirdos, vandals, hooligans, football supporters, namby- pamby probation officers, rapists, papists, papist rapists, foreign surgeons – headshrinkers, who ought to be locked up, Wedgwood Benn, keg bitter, punk rock, glue- sniffers, Play For Today, squatters, Clive Jenkins, Roy Jenkins, Up Jenkins, up everybody’s, Chinese restaurants – why do you think Windsor Castle is ringed with Chinese restaurants?

    Reggie: You realise the sort of people you’re going to attract, don’t you Jimmy? Thugs, bully-boys, psychopaths, sacked policemen, security guards, sacked security guards, racialists, Paki-bashers, queer-bashers, Chink-bashers, anybody-bashers, Rear Admirals, queer Admirals, Vice-Admirals, fascists, neo-fascists, crypto-fascists, loyalists, neo- loyalists, crypto-loyalists.

    Jimmy: Do you really think so? I thought support might be difficult.

  • I hope you’re not drawing any comparisons between Daniel Hannan and Clarksonite Poujadist right-wing fruitcakes like Jimmy? 😉

  • Seymour Major

    The voters were not so easily manipulated

  • joeCanuck

    Yes, Wild Turkey.
    DeToqueville had a few unfavourable remarks on president Jackson. Unkind of you to mention his origins; I’m agin that! 😉

  • Alias

    You just had your left-wing revolution under Labour. The left robbed the poor British taxpayers and gave it all to the wealthy elite in the money markets.

  • Alias

    I suspect that Mr Fealty will get the editor’s knife to the off-topic content on this thread, so I’ll add this. The flaw with this thread is that it assumes that the good citizens of NI have exercised their democratic franchise wisely and elected the elite of their society to determine their affairs when the evidence overwhelmingly proves that they have done the exact opposite and have elected the dregs of their society to high office. In fact, some of the bizarre criterion applied in exercising that franchise was that psychopathic mass-murderers and criminals should be elected to public office because this would reform them or, at any rate, deter them from returning to their former practice of murdering those citizens that they now govern. There is nothing that this lot can do to improve the quality of public life or the publics’ lives other than to resign from it and leaving them alone respectively. However, the citizens really need to consider what function Stormont performs and what should be a minimum set of qualifications for those they should elect to it. Until the public take their role seriously then few are going to take their politicians seriously…

  • Seymour Major

    Resist the temptation to promote myths

    – a trait of Northern Ireland politics, I’m afraid. The myth about Margaret Thatcher “murdering” hunger strikers is well known. It happens in UK politics too, to a certain extent but at least in Britain, the media will shoot down a myth if it is obvious and gross.

    In Northern Ireland, they get away with ridiculous myth-making. I read yesterdayt that the UUP are now being blamed for the cuts in public spending because of their previous alliance with the Conservatives.

  • Politics would be better if only politicians would, could and should.

  • USA

    Alias,
    There is absolutely no need to use racist remarks such as “bog-trotters”. How would you like it if “orange wanker” was deemed to be a fit reason not to vote for a candidate. That would be racist and offensive, as is the term “bog-trotter”.

  • … personally share in the suffering their decisions cause.

    E.g. the Chancellor of the Exchequer having to live on benefits (everything else locked away), transport ministers and permanent secretaries having to spend one month a year forced to do without cars, and knee-capping those who cut disability benefits.

    No doubt others can come up with examples that produce politicians who emulate Ghandi rather than Haughey in serving the poor.