*All Things To All Men
So, the Labour Shadow Cabinet is full of policy wonks, people who have never held down a real job in their lives. And the Conservative Cabinet is much the same, albeit slightly more encouraging with a few Directorships. So, how is the party that will promise anything to anybody faring?
Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister
Vince Cable, Business Secretary
Chief Economist for Shell
Chris Huhne, Energy and Climate Change
Director of ratings agency
Danny Alexander, Treasury Secretary
Director of Communications, Britain In Europe
Bit too much Europe there for my liking.
Time was, Parliament was full of ex-miners on one side and ex-businessmen on the other. Yes, I exaggerate. But you knew that Parliament was filled with men (and some women) with experience of life - struggling to feed a family, hard physical work, taking risks, balancing priorities, managing money. Looking back over these three posts, the most common occupation is 'policy adviser' or 'political researcher'. Overwhelmingly, politicians leave University, get a job at a low level in a political organisation, and rise to the top of that before being selected (for their loyalty to the cause more than anything else, one would imagine) as candidates for election. The only risk there people have taken was whether to support Brown of Blair on their way up.
It is no surprise that Parliament is spineless and weak (unless it is to bully and coerce its citizens into 'appropriate choices'). They have all lived in a world where what matters is who you butter up and who you spin against, a comfy office world where risks are theoretical and discomfort is a Nokia between the shoulderblades.
No-one there who has queued for the bus before dawn on a misty November morning to earn their daily crust. Pampered lapdogs, the lot of them. Even, or especially, Labour.