Friday, 21 January 2011

Cabinet and Shadow experience

Dizzy has been looking at the real-world experience of those Conservatives and Lib Dems in the Cabinet and their Labour shadows, the former in response to a comment at his site regarding his initial reporting of just the "shadows" category, sourced from Richard Littlejohn (though he provides no link to this).

Here they are in full, with the added explanation that a SpAd is a special adviser, and I think a Wonk is a so-called ministerial bag carrier, being a loose variation on the general definition here.

 First, here is the worldly experience of the coalition Cabinet before being politicians.
  • David Cameron - Director of Corporate Affairs at Carlton Communications (7 years)
  • Nick Clegg - Foreign Correspondent
  • William Hague - Management consultant McKinsey & Company
  • George Osborne - CCHQ Wonk
  • Ken Clarke - Barrister QC
  • Theresa May - Bank of England, financial consultant
  • Liam Fox - GP, Civilian Army Medical Officer and Divisional Surgeon with St John Ambulance
  • Vince Cable - Economics lecturer, Chief Economist, Royal Dutch Shell
  • Iain Duncan-Smith - British Army Officer, Scots Guard
  • Chris Huhne - Economic journalist, City entrepreneur, MD of Fitch IBCA
  • Andrew Lansley - Civil Servant
  • Michael Gove - Journalist
  • Eric Pickles - Unknown
  • Philip Hammond - Director of Speywood Medical Limited, Castlemead Ltd, Castelmead Home. Consu1ltant World Bank.
  • Caroline Spelman - National Union Farmers, lobbyist
  • Andrew Mitchell - UN Peacekeeper, British Army Royal Tank Regiment, Investment Bank Lazard, Manager and Financial Controller at Touche Ross & Co, Audit Manager at Storehouse PLC, Finance Director at W H Everett & Son Ltd, Senior Strategy Advisor for Accenture
  • Jeremy Hunt - English language teacher in Japan, IT PR company, Profile PR
  • Owen Paterson - Sales Director and Managing Director of British Leather Company, Director of Parsons and Sons (leather company)
  • Michael Moore - Accountant
  • Cheryl Gillan - Marketing consultant, Ernst & Young, marketing director with Kidsons Impey
  • Baroness Warsi - Lawyer
  • Lord Strathclyde - Hereditary Peer
  • George Young - Economic adviser to Post Office Corporation
  • Francis Maude - Criminal lawyer
  • Dominic Grieve QC - Barrister
  • Patrick McLoughlin - farmer, coal miner

Now, here's the run down of the Shadow Cabinet members' worldly experience.
  • Ed Miliband - Wonk/SpAd
  • Harriet Harman - Political campaign lawyer
  • Ed Balls - Leader writer (4 years), SpAd
  • Douglas Alexander - Solicitor(six months)
  • Yvette Cooper - Journalist (2 years)
  • Sadiq Khan - Political campaign lawyer
  • Jim Murphy - Student politics
  • John Denham - Student politics, political advocacy.
  • Liam Byrne - Merchant Bank (Rothchilds), Accenture consultant
  • John Healey - Trade Unions
  • Andy Burnham - SpAd
  • Caroline Flint - Local Government
  • Maria Eagle - Solicitor
  • Meg Hillier - Journalist (not for long)
  • Mary Creagh - Charity work
  • Shaun Woodward - BBC researcher/producer doing crap telly.
  • Ann McKechin - Solicitor (7 years)
  • Peter Hain - Trade Union researcher
  • Ivan Lewis - Voluntary sector campaigner
  • Tessa Jowell - Social worker and administrator for a charity.
  • Angela Eagle - Trade Union
  • Baroness Royall of Blaisdon - SpAd
  • Rosie Winterton - SpAd, lobbyist
  • Hilary Benn - Trade Union
  • Lord Bassam of Brighton - Social worker, professional squatter
  • Baroness Scotland of Asthal QC - Political campaign lawyer
  • Tony Lloyd - Lecturer (2 years), MP for 28 years

As Dizzy points out, via his two posts, there is a huge difference between the two groups. How can Labour relate to how the real world works and how real people have to live their lives when nearly all of their portfolio-ed MPs (and the vast majority of their backbenchers, I believe) have little or no experience of that world out there?

If there is any kind of class divide, it is surely that and not the artificial "Eton toff" divide that Labour dishonestly portray as a Conservative disconnect from ordinary people. In reality it is Labour who are disconnected from (most of) the rest of us, which explains their "on another planet" style that so often breaks through the spun lines they are supposed to be parroting but don't really understand and frequently get wrong.

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