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16 March 2013
HOW POLITICIANS REGARD THEMSELVES
“There is, simply, no way of reconciling the taxi-driver/saloon-bar wisdom [which generally contemns politicians as scoundrels] with the way that so many politicians would like to see themselves. Their preferred adjectives would be idealistic, noble, selfless. They would like to be thought of as not so much in politics as in something called ‘public life’, in which they are ‘public servants’. From this perspective, they are not our rulers: the ‘masters’ are the people and the politicians are merely doing our bidding. The soldiers of this selfless army have been called to the colours by a passion to right wrongs, to fight injustice and to leave the world a better place than they found it. Personal advantage is the last thing on their mind and they could be earning much more money, doing a lot less work, somewhere else. Which they would certainly be doing were they not sacrificing themselves for an ungrateful nation.”
Extract from page 14 of “The Political Animal” by Jeremy Paxman published by Michael Joseph in 2002.
This post is the sequel to “Homo politicus (1), which we published yesterday 15 March 2013.
Readers who want to look further into this topic might like to check out Antigone1984’s essay “Partitocracy v. Democracy” in section 2 below. This fits the low esteem enjoyed by politicians into a party-political context.
You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts. For instance:
1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
4. Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
5.Ladder (21 June 2012)
6. A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)
7. A tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)
Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.