Absent Government: Written on 08 August 2011
I have come to the conclusion that our present crop of senior government ministers, and today I’m thinking in particular of the PM, Chancellor and Home Secretary, have no understanding of the concept of duty. The trouble is that many of our top ministers these days have young children. Their duty to their country, for which they have been elected, conflicts in their eyes with their duty to their children. The problem is most acute at holiday times and probably explains the absent ministers' reluctance to return to their offices to deal with recent crises on several fronts in UK and abroad. These part-timers whinge that they don’t need to return to London because they are in constant touch by electronic means. Not good enough!
If electronic means were sufficient, the Ministers might as well all permanently work from home (and I mean their house in the country) where they could pay full attention to the job they are paid to do as, when, and if, they could fit it in with family matters. Ministers are not in touch with 'the public', those who voted for them, when they are on the other end of a smart phone, however smart it and its location may be. What sort of conversations can the Home Secretary have with the Metropolitan Police about the recent riots in several parts of London via smart phones? And are they 100% sure they’re not being hacked?
Ordinary members of the public have never heard of most of the stand-in Government spokesmen and spokeswomen who have been put in front of the TV cameras (and other media reporters) since the Summer holidays started. It any case, it seems many of those unfortunates are only spouting words, not always with any great conviction, that have been sent to them by electronic means. Those stand-ins are, it seems, not deemed competent enough to do their master's job outside holidays and presumably they don't require, or are not allowed, holidays at holiday time – children or not!
Ministers must learn that as long as they hold high offices of state, their priorities must be: country first; family second. The only other option, and in my opinion the far better option, is that politicians appointed to high office should be of an age when their children have long since fled the nest - or can be sent off to grandparents for holidays. By that age, the ministers would be sufficiently mature not to require holidays at set times, and when they understood the concept of duty. That’s how it used to be until all the young ‘professional’ politicians with no experience of the real world they are supposed to serve, came along.