Over the past 5 or so days we have seen the story of Paris Brown develop; once it was revealed she had said a few questionable things on twitter. The media went to town on this 17 year old saying she was unfit to do her job and so on; which ultimately lead to her resignation. Now in this whole situation I don’t think she was at fault, but that there was improper due diligence in her appointment, which if it had been carried out then none of this whole debacle would have seen the light of day.
However it now raises one big question for anyone who is contemplating running for office in the UK, and that is “is it really worth it?”
Social media is a great thing, it lets you share and communicate ideas with people all over the world but equally it lets you have heated discussions about those ideas which could result in you saying something that could if taken on its own be taken very out of context. That in turn is used as a big stick to beat you over the head with should you run for office.
However it also has the problem of preserving for all time (unless you go back the next day and delete it) what you say, so all those conversations you had when you were 14, 15 & 16 that you would now look at and think oh dear did I really say that? Are as good as set in stone, for anyone to come along and dig up at a later date.
Which leads us with a bit of a tricky situations if the media are going to now go after anything that anyone has said before they were appointed or elected to a position, then with social media that is really going to limit the pool of people we have available to draw upon for these people.
Which in the meantime raises the question, who would really want to be a politician? We have all done or said something in the past that the media would probably jump on much in the same way that they jumped on a 17 year old. So this really has to make a lot of people thing do I really want to be put in the same position.
We often hear that politicians are out of touch with the common person, and they have no life experience before becoming an MP. Which may be true in some cases, but could this fact be down to the media. If we want MP’s who know what life is about, who have some experience of life then we as a nation have to accept that they may have done things some of us would disapprove of.
So the way I see it we have two options, we either accept that people have lived lives and done things that we may think “Oh dear, I wouldn’t have done that” and subsequently get MP’s and alike with life experience. Or we end up with MP’s who from the age of 14 or so decided they wanted to be an MP and lived a sheltered life not daring to put a foot wrong and in turn having no experience with life what so ever.
As I am sure even some of our past MP’s like Churchill, Baldwin, Attlee all probably did things in their youth that if they were around today would be front page news. That would probably cause them to have to resign before they did what they did.
So the choice is simple dull MP’s or MP’s with life experience?