Two things struck me yesterday. Firstly it was budget day. Now lets be honest it's a thankless task, we all want to pay less tax and yet if you ask people what service they think we should cut then they can't agree.
If you are worse off you complain like hell and if you are better off its not enough.
The second thing was Richard Madeley (I was seeing Mum and Dad ok). Richard & Judy were reviewing the new film about William Wilberforce.
ok cue digression for American readers William Wilberforce was an early 19th century MP credited with Britain's abolition of the slave trade in 1807. He was SCANDULOUSLY left out of the top ten of Great Britain's in favour of such luminaries as John Lennon and please don't life Princess Diana (I know one or two of you are fans but puhlease).
Anyway Madeley was raving about the film and generally being Madeley (which I think translates as irritating, patronising, way over the top etc) and he made the comment "They dealt in fundamental issues and not the unimportant trivia they do today, they just did it" (ok he didn't say that exactly but the context is right).
I don't necessarily disagree with the point he was making, just that he, and people like him, are the last people to make such comments.
When the great politicians of previous eras made decisions they just did it. Nowadays if a Blair or Brown or a Cameron has to make a decision they do so in the knowledge that the world and his dog will castigate them to high heaven if they get it wrong. If William Pitt (either one) or Robert Walpole got it wrong they bought a few people off and carried on. History may have said this Battle here or that excursion there was a total cock up but they could make mistakes. The current set of politicians may, or may not, be rubbish but Wilberforce, Pitt & co did so without Richard "just what responsibilities do you have in your job mate?!" Madeley making asinine comments.
We can't compare our politician's to those of the past. They lived in a different era and this had different standards. For instance we value human life more. Today when ever a soldier dies their parent is wheeled out to say their son or daughter died in a hopeless cause. Of course 200 years ago they died in a hopeless cause but the politiicians didn't have cameras all over the place.
Whatever your political views would really like to be Prime Minister of the UK? You get paid £180,000 a year and get constant criticisim. Much better to manage a public company screw it up and get a golden handshake!