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to think that the educated elite running the country can't be all that smart?

(88 Posts)
MuseumofInnocence Fri 15-Mar-19 16:28:48

This is a Brexit related question, but it's not really about Brexit. The country is in a real mess right now, and the Government (and the opposition) looks woefully incompetent. Yet, if I look at their CVs, these, if not the brightest and best, should be pretty smart people - people with Oxbridge and top university degrees, experience working in industry at top levels, etc.

The example I can give is Stephen Barclay. Cambridge educated lawyer, high positions in City of London firms. The same is true of Dominic Raab (although he has degrees from Oxford and Cambridge).

Chris Grayling went to Cambridge and had a career in business.

I'm not saying I could do a better job, but how come those at the top seem it so incompetent?

Is it that those are top are incompetent, and they're not that bright, or is just too complex for mere mortals? AIBU to think those at the top can't be that smart?

YouTheCat Fri 15-Mar-19 16:30:53

They bought their education, mainly. Passing exams is no indicator of common sense plus they don't give a shit about the country, or people poorer than them. They are just in it to feather their nests.

ShitAtScarbble Fri 15-Mar-19 16:32:13

What YouTheCat says. If it's common sense you want you're looking in the wrong place. Most of these people don't even know what a pint of milk costs.

MissionItsPossible Fri 15-Mar-19 16:32:54

You're not wrong and YouTheCat is right. Felicity Huffman has been in the news recently for being part of a "college scam" and all I could think was...this is nothing new. Rich people buy their children's education all the time.

MuseumofInnocence Fri 15-Mar-19 16:33:38

But if that's true, is the case the industry and business has these incompetents at the top. Are most firms run by these sorts of people? These people worked as lawyers in the city, managers in industry? How were they not caught out then?

Iggly Fri 15-Mar-19 16:36:01

There’s a difference between having knowledge (which a lot of education is about IMO) and having skills.

There’s also a huge amount to be said for having life experience and not being a career politician. Or working in careers which are full of people who are rich and never have to actually worry about day to day shit.

Plenty of clever people are politicians and they’ve lost sight, or never had sight of, what normal is.

So they cannot relate to the population that they’re serving. Then we end up with complete fuck ups like Brexit as they think they know what we need/want and don’t follow through properly.

MurielBennett Fri 15-Mar-19 16:36:35

It's arrogance. It would simply never occur to these people that they could be crap. It's unthinkable. I have long since concluded that ability and position in society/ work success have any causal relationship at all.

Boom45 Fri 15-Mar-19 16:36:54

They weren't caught out because privilege. And because an expensive education teaches people (mainly men) to act like they deserve to be their even when they are demonstrating quite clearly they're not capable of what is being asked of them

GabrielleNelson Fri 15-Mar-19 16:39:41

Very few people get to the top of a business or a professional firm and then go into politics. I suspect that the ones who move into politics are often the ones who would have never made it to the top elsewhere. They got on the gravy train at university or even earlier, often have family connections, and they take the business/professional jobs to tide them over until they finally get that safe seat they've been angling for. The left-wing equivalent of this is working as some sort of community/union organiser for a bit and of course nepotism kicks in there too.

Many MPs from all political parties start off by working for a think tank. They may have a good degree in a relevant subject but they're not often the brightest sparks, judging by the dreadful mess we're in now. Common sense and varied life experience seem to be very rare.

MuseumofInnocence Fri 15-Mar-19 16:42:46

It's quite frightening to be honest

MereDintofPandiculation Fri 15-Mar-19 16:44:02

And, bizarrely, when people rant about "career politicians" and talk about people "with real life experience" becoming MPs, it always turns out that they're looking for people running businesses. Never people with experience of having been employed, which is the "real life experience" for most of us.

Cuddlysnowleopard Fri 15-Mar-19 16:47:54

I think there are some genuinely bright and educated MPs out there. Unfortunately, there are not enough of them, and they are not always the ones who make it to the top jobs.

Like a Fantasy Football Team, I always wondered if I could form a government from a cross party selection of reasonable, intelligent, educated, MPs.

SaveKevin Fri 15-Mar-19 16:47:55

The thing that gets me about politicians is how can they be head of Education one week, the Environment the next, Business one week and the NHS the next.
It makes no sense. I know they have advisers who don't change so much, but surely it would be better to have an education minister who has actually been a teacher or something.

Halloumimuffin Fri 15-Mar-19 16:49:58

I think the skills that make a successful politician are the same that make a successful big business executive (not an entrepreneur or small business owner, who need creativity and graft) and they are nothing to do with intelligence and everything to do with selling yourself.

eddiemairswife Fri 15-Mar-19 16:58:47

I can remember a time when a lot of MPs had been university or college lecturers, and a good few were ex-miners. Too many now come up through being speechwriters or advisors to existing MPs.
In fact I would like to see prospective MPs have to have at least 5 consecutive years of work completely unrelated to politics, and that would include stay-at-home parents and people who have been unemployed.

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Fri 15-Mar-19 16:58:49

people with Oxbridge and top university degrees, experience working in industry at top levels, etc

Whilst its true for some, the HoC is at its highest ever level of state educated pupils - I'm afraid this quite probably is why we are screwed. I'd rather have privileged elite leading us thanks.

May has very few public educated persons in the cabinet.

MuseumofInnocence Fri 15-Mar-19 17:00:22

Whilst its true for some, the HoC is at its highest ever level of state educated pupils - I'm afraid this quite probably is why we are screwed. I'd rather have privileged elite leading us thanks.

Is your argument that if state school pupils get to Oxford, they're not as good as those from public schools?

cardibach Fri 15-Mar-19 17:02:15

the HoC is at its highest ever level of state educated pupils - I'm afraid this quite probably is why we are screwed. Did you really just type that, PlainSpeaking? We are in a mess because the MPs were educated in state schools?
I have no words. That attitude is truly, truly shocking and disgusting.

MuseumofInnocence Fri 15-Mar-19 17:03:07

I'd rather have privileged elite leading us thanks.

Like Cameron?

Allthecolours Fri 15-Mar-19 17:09:15

There are many forms of intelligence. It depends how you categorise it.

It would be helpful if all sections of the community were fairly represented.

Iggly Fri 15-Mar-19 17:11:08

I'm afraid this quite probably is why we are screwed. I'd rather have privileged elite leading us thanks
Please do, explain your logic.

It makes no fucking sense.

fedup2017 Fri 15-Mar-19 17:15:13

I think many of them are clever. This Brexit shitshow is going to be making money for somebody. Maybe spouses and friends of current MPs...... O r maybe they are on boards of companies. Or perhaps they are waiting to step into director ships when they stop being an MP.
I think the mistake is thinking that the ERG and the like are doing this for altruistic reasons and the good of the country.... I'm convinced that they know what they are doing and don't give a damn about the average voter.

M3lon Fri 15-Mar-19 17:16:50

sorry I can barely type for laughing that anyone intelligent would go into politics.

I know people who went to Cambridge and failed to graduate. I know people who came top of the year.

Guess which ones are in politics and which ones are running tech companies in California.

BoswellsBonkersBrexshit Fri 15-Mar-19 17:17:14

The majority of them couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery and have no concept of how the rest of us live...

mummymeister Fri 15-Mar-19 17:18:40

Most people think that politicians do a rubbish job. very few people volunteer to do it though. why is that? we get the people that can be bothered to stand. they will all have different motives for it but honestly, if you don't like them, then stand yourself.

If you want to be governed by ordinary people then ordinary people have to stand and that means ordinary people like the ones on MN.

As for plainspeakings comment. I'm just hoping its a wind up.

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