Would a politician free Cabinet be more effective?

Today, I had a thought. Would the Cabinet of the United Kingdom work better if they weren’t politicians?

The first problem I see with the Cabinet being politicians is the part politics that guide them. Whether it’s good for the country or not, it follows their party’s philosophies and therefore it’s ok.

The second problem is they may not actually have any experience in the field relating to the department they’re in charge of.

George Osborne, for example, is the Chancellor of the Exchequer. His role is to budget for the country. Fortunately for us, he has no previous experience of economics, and his degree is in Modern History. Chris Grayling, the Justice Secretary, has no previous experience in Law. Jeremy Hunt has no experience in the medical sector. Iain Duncan Smith HAS had experience being unemployed, but that just makes his policies even harder to understand as Secretary for Work and Pensions.

My idea would be to make up the cabinet from leaders in their fields. Medical professionals in charge of health. Senior Judges in charge of justice. Actual economists in charge of the economy.Recruitment professions in charge of work and pensions perhaps. You get the idea.

Not only would this mean someone with actual knowledge would be in charge of the department, but it’d be free from party politics. Parliament could still set policies for the departments, but perhaps they’d have to be ratified and amended by the department, so parliament could devise the policy, and the department could comment on whether it’s actually plausible, and then suggest amendments.

What do you think? Good idea, or far too naive? Leave your thoughts in the comments; let’s get a discussion going!

All the best

Nicky

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4 comments on “Would a politician free Cabinet be more effective?
  1. Good point raised here.

    Whilst I think you have a great idea here (in theory) dude, I do not believe that this could ever really be applied practically and am not sure how successful it would be. I’ll explain (you may want to put the kettle on, I will probably start to ramble!)

    For starters, constiutional conventions dictate that a members of the Cabinet must be in Parliment. In order to appoint someone outside of politics that person would need to be made a Lord. However, as they are not elected individuals it is tough for them to be held democratically accountable to the public when in a position of power. This also then further excludes the public from involvement in policy making and governance.

    Anyone appointed to the cabinet will need to possess certain skills and attributes in order to be deemed suitable and not cause public faith in the ability and authenticity of the cabinet to wane. This could be parlimentary skills (i.e. debating, public speaking etc), ministerial experience, administrative skills, be media savvy and be free of scandal. This rules out a lot of potential people from being suitable.

    In terms of ministers and heads government departments, appointing ‘outsiders’ is not a new thing. Blair, Brown and Cameron have all done this. The majority of these appointments have not been as successful as you may think . For example, a lot of ‘outsiders’ were heavily involved in the Millenium Dome project!

    Ok, so I have gone on way too long and probably bored you to death. Just felt like chipping in.

  2. The Savvy Senorita says:

    I do agree in theory. I can’t quite understand, regardless of constitutions (which aren’t inflexible – unless it is written like in the US), why other things adapt and change with time, all bar the encumbrances of the political sphere?! For me people who truly know the work would make more of a difference – why ask and artist to manage money, or a writer to decree the law? It must be the only profession in the world where you can net a top job, and know nothing about the work or requirements! We cannot wonder therefore why the country goes so wrong (admittedly there is more than this one point to blame though, as we all know)!!!! Anyway I digress as usual!!! Perhaps also more communication and consultation with their electorate; gaining info and knowledge on what needs to be done. Many MPs and so on only hold ‘surgeries’ near elections, but people need to know their ‘representatives’ are approachable, and interested to hear them and their views or concerns.
    Anyway, I won’t go into much more detail with this – as this is your blog and I don’t wish to hijack it or ‘dictate’. Opinions are opinions after all!!!!!!!
    Bex

  3. […] mentioned before that Mr Duncan Smith has spent some time being unemployed in his younger days, which you would think would have given him a little bit of insight into what […]

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