Institutionalised Mediocrity: How Britain Selects Its Prime Ministers

Liz Truss is now the Prime Minister of Great Britain. She is a person of quite worrying qualities, her ignorance and arrogance being, probably, surpassed only by the extremely high opinion she clearly has of herself.

Truss was seen, from the beginning, as the potentially emerging candidates among a sea of nullities, with the only ones able to show intellectual prowess either not candidating (Jakob Rees-Mogg) or being unpalatable because too rich and wanting to increase taxes (Rishi Sunak). Others were just too inexperienced and therefore not realistically eligible.

You might wonder why this sea of mediocrity. If you ask me, the answer lies in a truth that, whilst not often spelled out, is immediately perceived by everyone with a brain: in XXI Century Britain, if you are smart, politics is not a good option for you. But if you are mediocre, without dignity, and with a huge ego, it’s just the ticket.

Professions like lawyer, accountant, banker, industry manager bring a much better reputation and, in various degree, financial satisfactions that the professional politician will only be able to achieve by legally selling himself to some lobby and cashing in, Gerhard Schroeder-style, when he retires from politics.

There was a time when MPs could openly hold directorships, but this has now come into disrepute. Most MPs have their extra income capped by their party, or frowned upon. The generous “expense policy” gave rise to a huge scandal which destroyed many careers and further tarnished the reputation of the Members of Parliament.

An MP makes, last time I looked, less than £70k a year. In London, the opportunities to earn more for a smart guy (or gal) are vast. Against this £70k, the guy will be expected to be a yesman all his life, unless he manages to rise at the top, where he will have 3 to 5 years of great ego-pumping before becoming a yesman or a privateer again. And if he is a mediocre man, like Gordon Brown, he will make very little from the paid speech and consultancy positions with which the industry rewards those who have licked their booths thoroughly.

It is, as you understand, a career only good for people with an ego vastly superior to their intellectual ability. With few exceptions (these are those successful businessman who retire from business and dedicate themselves to politics as a retirement hobby, or those few coming from money and having politics as a family tradition), it’s a world made of bootlickers, and mediocre ones at that. In fact, even Boris Johnson, a man clearly belonging to the “family tradition” category, licked all the boots he had to lick in order to enjoy less than 3 years as PM, before and during which he was, certainly many times though only time the police was called, scolded like a little child by his notoriously bitchy wife. What a life.

This explains your Liz Truss and so many of the public figures you see today. There are, again, exceptions, but the environment is not conducive to them rising at the top. Jakob Rees-Mogg is the kind of guy who has the guts to go on the morning show and tell you in your face all he believes in concerning, say, abortion and sodomy. Clearly, he is not becoming PM any time soon.

When will things change? In my opinion, when times get tough again. Tough times make quality people emerge: the Churchills and Mussolinis, or the De Gasperis and the Thatchers, are the product of turmoil.

Winter is coming, and the British Prime Minister cannot tell the Black from the Baltic Sea.

We might well have tough times ahead of us again.

Posted on September 8, 2022, in Traditional Catholicism. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. The thing about a non-entity is that he makes a good front-man for the real powers that be. In her book School of Darkness, Bella Dodd describes the communist strategy of taking a callow, naïve nobody and suddenly advancing him from total obscurity to a position far beyond his experience and abilities, precisely because such a person, being in over his head, will always turn to the party for advice and marching orders, and will never think or act for himself. And then, of course, once his usefulness ends, he can be just as suddenly dropped back into the total obscurity from whence he came.

    After decades and decades of mind-numbing indoctrination passing as public education, there is certainly no shortage of non-entities.

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