In Defence of Career Politicians

Dr. Peter Hill goes where angels fear to tred by writing a defence of the career politico.

Dr. Peter Hill
On 27 October 2020 14:07

Imagine one day, God forbid, you have a heart attack! You get rushed to the nearest hospital (you get lucky with the one which still has an A&E open...) and as you’re wheeled you meet the Professor of cardiovascular surgery who can save your life.

Now imagine instead of counting your blessings you start screaming “this guy is a career surgeon!” “He doesn’t care about me, he’s just in it for the money...” (because nobody who carries out caring responsibilities should be paid...) and “I don’t care how long he trained and how many degrees he’s go, I want an ordinary Joe like me...”. At that moment a random visitor to the hospital steps forward and says “I’m an ordinary guy like you, an outsider, not like this career surgeon! I’ve never done this before but I bet I could do it better than guy because I’ve never done it before.” You shake his hand and he goes to scrub up...

Of course, this is a farcical thought experiment, but hopefully it proves the point. You wouldn’t put your health in the hands of some random stranger because you resent somebody who has spent their career in healthcare, but why do we resent career politicians? Surely the same arguments hold true for our politicos: we want highly trained, qualified and experienced careerists who care about helping others, but we pay them well to reward them for their skill.

The strongest argument I can advance is that the only way we get better at any art is by practicing them. The art of politics should be no different, and in these challenging times, we need out best and our brightest in politics. Let’s stop resenting and instead celebrate our career politicos!

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