❍Hitler: A fine democrat
Democracy is a wonderful thing, someone once said.
It permits us to choose the fools who rule us.
Oh. It was me who said that.
Democracy. It sounds fine and dandy. It's, well, democratic.
George W Bush thinks every country in the world should have it. Except Iran. And Algeria. And anywhere else that has the temerity to elect people he doesn't like or with whom he disagrees.
Hitler was a democrat. Oh yes he was. He was elected.
Robert Mugabe was elected in a more or less fair manner to begin with at least.
Vladimir Putin was elected as was his successor Dmitry Medvedev.
If you look at any democratic country in the world, and I suppose for the purposes of this piece I'm talking about really democractic, you will find, without a shadow of a doubt, that many of those who have been elected are idiots.
It's not their fault. They have been chosen by their peers who, when it came to making the big decision decided, as it was their democratic right to do, that wanted an idiot to represent them.
It may have been for one of many reasons.
Maybe the idiot's father or mother or uncle or aunt or brother or sister had represented these people for generations and wasn't, in fact, an idiot. And so the descendant or relative got elected by extension, so to speak.
Maybe the idiot's father or mother or uncle or aunt or brother or sister was indeed an idiot but was a useful kind of idiot who got the local road resurfaced every now and then and got the pension for Mrs MacGillycuddy and a job in the civil service for that rather slow boy, Johnny from down the road. He might never have heard of Afghanistan or Burma or Zimbabwe or, for that matter, Berlin. But he got things done.
Either way, we end up with lots of idiots in our parliament and, indeed, every parliament in the world. These are people who need help dressing but can, unaided, tot up massive expenses, never miss a trick when it comes to tax and have junketted to the far corners of the world to see sewerage systems, street lights, schools and prisons, all of which we have in ample supply here at home.
So what's the point?
The point is this.
We elect these people, idiots and non idiots alike, to represent us. Not to rule us.
They should go to parliament and say: the people I represent do not want a tax on ice cream, the people I represent want a new motorway to be built to Gortahork; the people I represent want free jelly. Whatever.
And that's fine.
The problem arises when the idiots and, indeed, some of the non-idiots, are appointed to positions which actually mean they're running the show.
And so you end up with school teachers running energy departments and publicans running education departments and bus drivers running health departments and solicitors running the country.
We should elect our representatives to represent us.
But the job of running the country, should be left to people who know how to run countries.
Countries should be run by experts in education, finance, energy, transport, environment, defence and so on.
Who chooses the experts to run the country....?
Leave it with me.