‘Brains, Not Pudding, In Your Head’?

When I see political luminaries like the Manx Chief Minister holding forth at press briefings with a prepared script I’m reminded of the famous saying by the great scholar and poet A E Housman:

“Knowledge is good, method is good, but one thing beyond all others is necessary; and that is to have a head, not a pumpkin, on your shoulders, and brains, not pudding, in your head.”

Ask yourself would that adage (I’m stretching it a bit textually, I don’t think Housman would have approved) not apply to most, if not all, members of the current COMIN let alone some of the ‘other ranks’.

As another cold Covid winter bites the real social issues of the day that they can address lie unresolved. Poverty, homelessness, food aid are a cruel blight on a prosperous society. However politicians believe that they can address the problems of a global pandemic and kid us they have some influence over Brexit – the next disaster about to bite.

What used to be ‘bread and butter’ politicians who were accessible and accountable now are replaced by those who skulk in labyrinthian offices and surround themselves with apparatchiks. Emerging only with a prepared script.

Howard needs a Private Secretary he is so grand and yet cast your mind back just a few years when politicians could deploy themselves and their oratory without ‘a walking dictionary’ waiting in the wings to coach them or write the lines. The media meanwhile accept this charade glad of the few crumbs thrown their way – or in the case of Manx Radio a large cheque from us so Howard and Co’s fantasies can be decimated.

Image rather than issues, suffering rather than substance, arrogance rather than accessibility, haughtiness rather than honesty that is the stock in trade of the political class of 2020!

Bernard Moffatt

Assistant General Secretary Celtic League (16th November 2020)

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