Here’s an idea for a new website – I love politicians.com
It would be a site dedicated to saving politics and politicians from the constant attempts (mainly by our entirely wise, virtuous and public spirited media) to make them out to be self-interested, hypocritical, scoundrels. The site would focus on the art of politics as inspiration rather than the more complex and contested area of policy making.
So we would be showcasing example of:
Great leadership – when politicians really do shape the national mood in a positive way
Personal courage – when politicians say and do things which must be tough for them but show their dedication to the public interest
Rolling up their sleeves – when politicians don’t just see a problem, they get out of their offices and sort it.
When the website is up and running and has global reach, it can start awarding Oscars (or perhaps we should call them ‘Mandelas’) for outstanding examples.
By now you are probably thinking I have gone mad. A web site called ’I love politicians.com’ is about as likely to succeed as one called ‘bankers who deserve big bonuses.com’. What could I possibly put up on my site?
Well, here are two examples from the last 24 hours: Barack Obama showing great leadership in his speech in Arizona (I dare you to watch this without a tear).
And my old friend, Australian Foreign Secretary and former Australian Premier Kevin Rudd not just helping to save local people’s possessions from the floods in Queensland but making a journalist help too!
Maybe if more young people saw examples like this they might be more inclined to follow politics in the newspaper and develop an ambition to get involved themselves….
Both these examples come from the progressive wing, but it would be great to have some responses with right-of-centre heroism too.
If fact, sod it, if such a site doesn’t exist already I will personally donate some money to anyone who develops a plan to set it up and make it grow.
In his fifth post for the RSA Living Change Campaign, Matthew Taylor explores some of the implications of the framework he has outlined over the last month and asks why ideas like these aren’t more widely known and used.
As we emerge from Covid-19, Ruth Hannan argues there is an opportunity to shift from short-term solutions to approaches based on deeper understanding of citizens’ needs and which focus on systemic change.
If young people are to flourish in this new world of rapid change and insecurity, we need policies that support young people in the here and now, whilst also protecting their futures. Thinking about economic security is one way to do this.