Monday 17 December 2012

Incompetence Gets Praise.

I'm not overly familiar with Bruce Anderson, but he has an article on Conservative Home titled: "Parris and Portillo are wrong to disdain the views of grassroot Tories".

The article itself seems to be a bit of a contradictory mess, which is what happens when you really want one outcome but are pretending not to, as his article seems to indicate. And it's but one example on Conservative Home of the chaos that the Conservative Party currently find themselves in on a number of issues.

One paragraph however stood out:
It is true that a lot of extreme Euro-sceptics are also Euro-bores, who cling to their obsessions with a manic intensity. Kenneth Clarke boasted that he had never read the Maastricht Treaty. Some of the Euro-phobes could recite it backwards. With a fair number of them, one is in Ancient Mariner territory. If you see them coming, you dodge behind a pillar and pray that they have not spotted you. We would all rather have dinner with Ken Clarke than with Douglas Carswell. Few human rights are more important than the entitlement to a good dinner in amusing company.
Well, forgive me for pointing this out, but surely reading and knowing treaties (even backwards) is kind of an MP's job - someone who has been elected to the legislative has the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws and so must, one would assume, be able to read and know law and treaties as part of their job. That it makes them a bore is kind of the consequence of law making - law is deadly dull, as Bismarck once noted (in a comment attributed to him):
Laws are like sausages, it is better not to see them being made.
But no, not to Bruce Anderson, what counts instead is whether they make amusing company at a good dinner (no doubt put on expenses) rather than actually do the job we pay and send them to Parliament for.

Incompetence is therefore regarded as a virtue. No wonder our democracy is in such a mess.


  1. Not just incompetence, wilful incompetence, which is far, far worse.

  2. @Longrider...are they good enough to practice 'willful incompetence' - I'm not so sure.

    I always find hard to gauge the balance between stupidity and deception when trying to analyse 'our masters'. The problem is a case can be made for both views...