I wonder if being “good” at Politics is actually a Virtue. It is at best a devious kinda game and its probably a bigger virtue NOT to be good at it.
Id rather have an amateur politician than a “professional” one. Theres more to Politics that having a Politics A Level. I have one of them myself.
The current fad for professional politicians coming thru from PR firms and lobby groups and think tanks……and parachuted into safe seats while never having a real job…..or taking the “good route” to Politics via the local council or trade union or rank and file membership of a Party in which you actually believe..
Look at the professional politicians in England…………can we take Tony B Liar, (ex MP in a mining constituency Sedgefield) Peter Mandelson ex Blair spindoctor and ex MP for Hartlepool, Ed Miliband (current labour Leader) MP for a South Yorkshire constituency and his brother David Miliband MP for working class South Shields. These men are more used to jet-setting and having dinner parties in Islington, North London.
And Conall McDevitt SDLP MLA for South Belfast came into our Politics via the same route, a PR firm and co-option to a safe seat and undue and undeserved influence because of perceived professionalism.
Its the professionals who screw up more often than the “amateurs”.
Im sure some of the wannabee politicians in our Think Tanks (like Platform for Change) would happily pursue a career in ANY political Party. Platform for Change even provides a helpful list of the signatories to its agenda.
To this end we have seen wannabe professional politicians resign from one or even two Parties. We have seen Paula Bradshaw leave Ulster Unionist Party (she stood for them in the Westminster 2010 Election) join Alliance. She is married to Ian Parsley (Alliance European candidate in 2009, UUP candidate in 2010 and currently without a Party but singing Alliance praises on his Blog) and Harry Hamilton (UUP candidate 2010 and Alliance Party candidate in 2011).
Rather like Islington Labourites dispersing to northern constituencies, I suspect that people who have never left South Belfast in their lives will be seeking a nomination in West Tyrone and visiting the local pig market.
There are shadowy figures in so called “lobby” groups working to place “professionals” in all our Parties and actually “bigging them up” on message boards. Why?
The point is that professional politicians is the last thing we need.