Benign Government

As ever, Jeremy Clarkson is the voice of sanity on a Sunday morning, but particularly so today. Here is an edited version:

I’m willing to bet that none of the problems you have in life at the moment has anything at all to do with the decision-makers in Westminster. Is your daughter having a rough time at school? Is your wife having an affair? Neither of these things will be solved by the outcome of a general election.

Boris Johnson once claimed that a vote for the Tories would cause your wife to have bigger breasts and increase your chances of owning a BMW M3. He even had some science to back these claims, but it’s nonsense really.

The Conservative party likes to say Tony Blair is responsible for the emergence of MRSA, but this is political arrogance. MRSA is caused by nurses and doctors not washing their hands properly and personal hygiene is not a political issue. Nor should it be.

What’s more, whichever way the vote goes, the sewage network will continue to function and so will the company for which you work. Roads will continue to be fixed, doctors will continue to mend the sick, the police will continue to maintain law and order (except in Nottingham obviously). We now have a system in this country, an infrastructure, and for the most part it would continue to run even if all the 650 members of parliament decided to spend the rest of time dressed as Hiawatha on a remote Scottish island.

I’m not suggesting we don’t need leaders. We shall always need someone to react to American requests for soldiers, or an African need for food. But I do think the finite pot of tax money might be stretched a little further if there weren’t 650 leaders, all on expenses.

Could it not be run, perhaps, like a cross between a parish council — which, now we’re in the EU, is exactly what it is — and jury service. Can we not just have a dozen people, picked at random from the current electoral register, who sit in a village hall somewhere, making decisions only when they’re necessary.

If Ruth Kelly and John Prescott can do it, then anyone can. And in case the random selection procedure does cough up the odd loony who wants to invade France, majority decisions will be taken.

What I’m talking about is benign, reactive government rather than cancerous proactive government whose endless schemes dominate our viewing and reading pleasure and, with the exception of the M4 bus lane, achieve nothing of significance.

A poet once wrote “Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss”. It has become the mantra of the terminally disillusioned. But this morning I offer a solution. What if there were no boss at all?

That sounds like a perfectly workable system to me. JC for PM I say.

Nobody’s prefect. If you find any spelling mistakes or other errors in this post, please let me know by highlighting the text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

3 comments… Add yours
  • Mosher 1st May 2005

    But doesn't he say that he doesn't *want* a PM? 😉

    Besides, if Prescott can be ridiculed for being "2-Jags" how on earth do you think Clarkson would survive? "2-Ford, 1-Merc, 1-Ferrari…"

  • Shooting Parrots 1st May 2005

    My mistake. JC for anti-PM then. And I'm dead jealous of his cars. Not sure about Fords though, not quite his cup of high-octane, except for the Puma which he gave a rave review.

    I liked that as I happened to own one at the time. Pity it's no longer in production. Bloody great care to drive. At least the 1.7. The 1.4 was a waste of time.

  • Mosher 2nd May 2005

    He mentioned in one of his columns that he's got a Ford Focus – it's what he took his daughter (age 11) out to drive in for the first time.

    He's also got one of the very few limited edition GTs they did last year. Which he could have bought for less on eBay. D'oh.


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