Why I am glad I don’t work in politics anymore

20 Mar

I have to say it is really nice to be facing a big election and not have any responsibilities for managing anything, publicizing anything or indeed personal commitment on the outcome.

A few years ago I left a position working for a political party and it is one of the best things I’ve done.  I had grown tired of the tribal nature of politics and the race to reach the lowest common denominator when it came to public “outrage.”  This approach isn’t one of a specific political party but something that is standard procedure for pretty much all.

Don’t get me wrong I don’t have the same view of politicians as the vast majority of the public.  I’ve worked with politicians of the highest integrity who inspire me to this day.  I’ve worked with political staff who are some of the most passionate and competent individuals I’ve ever met.  Good friends even now.  I don’t buy the argument that politicians get elected for the money or that they are lazy or greedy.  Some are, the vast majority are not.  I personally think politicians should be paid more.  Then again I also think teachers, nurses, firemen and others should be paid more.

What has been nice however is working now in a job that has left party politics behind.  I have clashed professionally with politicians in my existing role no doubt, but it has always been on policy discussions and nothing else.  It has also been great to work with politicians across all parties.  Working in Education I am perhaps fortunate at present to have individuals across the parties who are committed to developing a discussion around the issues in Wales in a constructive way.  The Donaldson Review reaction was a testament to that.  Furthermore all four parties have quality AMs on the Children’s committee on top of their briefs and invested in improving education.  They proved that to me again this week in quizzing me on supply teachers and the supply system at a committee session.

While there are lots I miss about working in politics; the people, the opportunities to change Wales etc, I do not miss the party politics side of things.  This side becomes ever more evident during elections.  It is petty, boring, unimaginative and unconstructive.  That’s not a dig at any particular party just the way things are I guess.

I’m almost on the verge of not bothering to read the papers or watch/listen to the news at the moment as it is a paint by numbers approach to some of the reactions politically.  Fingers crossed that once this election is done and dusted with we can have a more vibrant and challenging build up to the 2016 Welsh election.  With such direct impact on issues like health and education we really need it.


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