Job Specification for a future British Prime Minister

On no account mention Enoch Powell.

The Demon, his Familiar and a world foretold

CV: Private or good grammar school. Oxbridge degree in PPE or Classics. The public pretend they don’t approve of this but realise there is no real alternative if they want a bright, well educated leader.

Marital Status: Married even if Lesbian, preferably with children. People still expect this as single, childless people are still considered odd.

Mental state: Must be ‘strong’ but at the same time prone to tearful breakdowns in public. Dry eyed just will not do! The Stiff Upper lip generation better not apply. Only the Queen, belonging as she does to the past, is allowed to remain emotionally controlled in public offering only a gloved hand and a wan smile. But even she has not escaped censure for lack of blubbing, cf. The death of Diana, when HMQ nearly toppled for not lowering a flag and weeping in public.

Speech: Do not be concise or too factual. Brevity is no longer popular; find an emotional theme and repeat it continuously. Find a victim group and be loquacious in your sympathy and desire to help in any way you can, without being specific as obviously you can’t. Regularly say, ‘My thoughts and prayers are with you.’ No one listening will have been inside a church since the unlikely event that they were baptised, but they still like to think of you kneeling by the bed every night as pious and cosy as Christopher Robin.

Do not be entertaining, or boring.

Never make jokes or ironic asides. As we now live in a largely American culture based on social media, they will not be understood and you will be trolled by those willing to kill you. But being dull can also be used against you so tread a fine line, somehow, between running through a field of wheat and a line of coke.

Take walking holidays in Switzerland:

The British public rarely waddles to the end of the street but still likes to see their leaders doing this. But don’t be away for too long, cf David Cameron. Modern leaders are supposed to be at their desk ready night & day with their box of double-ply Andrex tissues to face the next emergency.

Education: If you were educated before the 1980s think hard about applying for the job at all as you have probably no chance of understanding the requirements. The only suitable middle aged candidates now are vulgar populists cf. N. Farage & D. Trump, or cult leaders cf. Jim Jones of the famous ‘Jonestown massacre’ & J. Corbyn.

Enoch Powell once said, ‘All political careers end in tears.’ It’s no good crying when you discover that you needed your tears at the start of your career and in its middle, if they arrive too late to save you.  On no account mention Enoch Powell.

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5 Comments on Job Specification for a future British Prime Minister

  1. “CV: etc.”: So the only acceptable applicants for the position are those who have caused this complete clusterup. It always amuses me when people who can recite the ramblings and musings of a bunch of Greek faggots from 3,000 years ago are considered “educated”, when not one of them would recognize a non linear differential equation, much less be able to solve it.
    As for the rest; well it just proves that, for a politician, when you have learned to fake sincerity, you have it made.

    • The “ramblings and musings” as you call them underpin Western society. Homer, for example, fabricated myths that endowed Ancient Greece with structure and wisdom. Plato gave rise to Christianity with his theory of Forms. Aristotle, the supreme all-rounder, gave us logic and, like Archimedes, your esteemed mathematics. These men were not alone in their ramblings and musings on these and many other timeless, worthy subjects that narrowly survived the Dark Ages to found the sort of university celebrated by Cardinal Newman as the best place to learn how to live our short lives – that’s all.

      • OK; so how come they are such a bunch of failures? And I mean lazy, incompetent bunch of shysters who have populated England with disgusting 3rd world garbage?

        • I don’t know that ‘they’ are classically educated in the way Enoch Powell was, which, as I read Jane Kelly’s rather good article, is the very point of the author’s contrast. ‘Well’, you might say, ‘what about Boris Johnson?’ His is a rather poignant example. Johnson is subject to the popular ‘will’ of the ballot box majority who have learnt to vote themselves a living, with nary a thought to rectitude. But he plays the political game – and plays it with gusto – though I suspect the warnings of his classical reading (Hubris and Nemesis come to mind) lead him to the know that yet another tragedy is unfolding in which he is playing a part. (Incidentally, Friedrich Nietzsche recognised the ‘Birth of Tragedy’ in his essay of that name as the advancement of Ancient Greek culture from the prescriptive epic of Homer to the thoughtful tragedy of Aeschylus, Sophocles & Euripidies, a major growth in sophisticated thinking.)

          Beyond the answer outlined above, you need to look more widely at the decline of Western civilisation outlined in countless works, among which those of Oswald Spengler, Matthew Arnold and TS Eliot come immediately to mind. From the progressive side, you have Theodor Adorno analysing the trap capitalist material lifestyles with their attendant vulgarity have set for all of us.

          The warnings from our ancestors – and answers to all your questions – have been there for millenia.

          So the problem is not having an irrelevant education; it is that education has been made irrelevant.