Daily Archives: November 24, 2014

What is the problem with the British political class?

Now with a full draft paper at the end. Also note some recent developments – the new 50/50 Scottish Cabinet http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/nov/21/nicola-sturgeon-scottish-cabinet-equal-gender-balance – and new research on Westminster candidates http://www.democraticaudit.com/?p=9386#comment-56783

Paul Cairney: Politics & Public Policy

It is now commonplace in Britain to bemoan the failings of the ‘political class’. A wide selection of broadcast, print and social media commentators argue that elected politicians in the UK are not representative of their constituents. Instead, they are part of a self-referential ‘political class’ which is increasingly distant from the real world and mistrusted by the public. Examples include:

Peter Oborne’s (2007) description of a ‘narrow, self-serving governing elite’.
Guido Fawkes (2009) allegation that ‘Disenchantment with politicians has never been higher, most think they are overpaid and dishonest’.
Andrew Neil’s 2011 documentary ‘Posh and Posher: Why Public School Boys Run Britain’ (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00y37gk; see Crone, 2011) and assertion (in BBC2’s Daily Politics 19.6.14 from 39 minutes) that ‘all MPs will end up looking and sounding the same’ if ‘hand picked by the party high command’.
Leo McKinstry’s (2014) assertion that ‘the political class inhabits its own…

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