Friday, June 1, 2012

Donkeys, wolves and headless chickens, supported by lambs: the personalities of the Coalition

I've almost lost track of the number of negative stories and negative characteristics that can be used to describe the personalities that make up the UK government, but I'll try and do the best I can.

From what I can tell, the two people who seem to have the most integrity (compared to the rest), interestingly also happen to be the "elder statesmen" representing their respective parties in government: the LibDem Business Secretary, Vince Cable, and the Conservative Justice Minister, Ken Clarke. Since holding their respective positions, they have carried out their duties more-or-less ably, and honestly, as far as I can tell.

As for the rest, their personalities can be roughly divided into a few categories: ineptitude ("the donkeys"), psychological weakness ("the headless chickens"), chilling ruthlessness ("the wolves"), and mind-boggling levels of masochism ("the lambs"). The first three apply to the various personalities of Conservative ministers; the last, to the personalities of LibDem ministers.

Some of the Conservative ministers seem to vacillate between being inept one moment, and weak the next: into this category, we can probably place the Prime Minister and the Chancellor. In other words, their way of dealing with decisions is either to make a decision without properly thinking it through ("analytical thinking" not being their strong point), and then when their decision is shown to be wrong, they either cave-in (after a period of showing mule-like stubbornness to change their opinion, despite their obvious mistake), or stick their head in sand like ostriches and hope the problem will go away.

Then there are people like Thesera May and Jeremy Hunt, the Home and Culture Secretary respectively. These are ministers who, like donkeys, clearly don't know what they are doing, and often seem like rabbits frozen in the headlights whenever a problem appears. Then when a problem does happen, they plead ignorance or blame someone else. This explains why Mrs May has little idea about how to deal with immigration and border control, and why Mr Hunt is utterly clueless about what represents improper conduct by a minister. When put in front of a lawyer in the Leveson inquiry, Mr Hunt appears genuinely surprised at the how his behaviour is seen as dishonest and prejudiced. This simply tells us how little he understands about the responsibilities of his position; the same goes for the Home Secretary, the Prime Minister and the Chancellor, and the Conservative co-chair, Baroness Warsi.

There are people like the Education and Health ministers, who have the chilling characteristics of wolves; Mr Gove, the Education minister, most of all. These two ministers are the ones responsible for carrying out controversial, wide-scale reforms in the institutions they represent. These two characters have complete conviction and determination in their role, in the face of massive protest from the hundreds of thousands of public servants they are supposed to represent. They have little sympathy for the plight and chaos they are causing their industries; in fact, they seem to even welcome it, chaos being a sign that what they are doing must be right. In their mind, as no omelette can be made without breaking a few eggs, they discredit and dismiss discontent like a pair of Soviet Commissars, there to implement the dead hand of government reform, sweeping away the anachronistic regime of their predecessors. They show disturbing characteristics of psychopathy, Mr Gove most of all.

Supporting this disastrous and unparalleled combination of personalities, are the LibDems in government. It has to be remembered that it is the LibDems that allow these personalities mentioned the right to govern; and it is these above personalities that have repeatedly done what they could to discredit and damage their LibDem partners in government. Because the Conservatives know that the LibDems would be politically destroyed if they abruptly pull out of the Coalition and call a fresh election, it seems the Conservatives have few limits to how they can demean the LibDems in government in the meantime. Forced to accept Conservative policies that most LibDems abhor, while at the same time metaphorically being kicked in the teeth by their Coalition "partners", the LibDems have become lambs; too weak to stand up against their weekly humiliation in government because they are too terrified of the alternative of facing the electorate. Their credibility shot to pieces, the LibDems can only cling to their abusive relationship to their Conservative masters, in the vain hope that their loyalty and patience will be somehow rewarded later.

So this is what is called the UK government: in the worst economic crisis and prolonged slump that British people have seen for a century, the electorate is rewarded with perhaps the worst set of government personalities known in living memory.

This whole shambles of government personalities saps the morale of the public in general, feeding the impression that politics in Britain is utterly disreputable, full of people who are so clueless they have no idea about how to behave with integrity; people who are so ruthless and blind that they have no idea how to behave with humanity; and people who are psychologically so weak they have no idea how to defend their own decency.
Gordon Brown's government suffered from this reputation for much of the time; however, the personalities in the Coalition have managed to sink to even further depths, surpassing the Brown administration's often calamitous failings with its own unique meld of governmental incompetence and inhumanity.

It is no wonder that public confidence and trust in politicians is at a low point, and fringe parties see an upswing. With the abysmal quality of those who run the current government, it is hardly surprising.

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