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In the same context, the current fashion, on the Left as much as on the Right, for treating politicians as though they were on trial for their lives and raking through their pasts for some way to catch them out is also a nasty one, Enemy of the People and Crooked Hilary in action. I’m sure that my left wing friends don’t think they’re snuggling up to the likes of Breitbart news and the Daily Mail in this, but to me it smacks of the same sort of judgemental unpleasantness whereby spectators sit on the sidelines setting far higher standards for those they’re judging than they would ever set for themselves or their friends or loved ones.

Take the view that all politicians are corrupt and that none are worth listening to except the very few who have proved themselves “worthy” and “pure”. For one thing, this sort of “AHA!!! CAUGHT YOU!!!” approach is highly unlikely either to attract the best people or get the best out of them. Hands up anyone who’d like to work for a manager who makes clear that they loathe you, constantly looks over your shoulder to see if they can catch you out, seizes on every small mistake or unorthodoxy as evidence of your general incompetence and unfitness for the role and uses it to demand that you be sacked so they can employ someone they like better.  They don’t just do this with your current work, they also comb back through all the work you’ve ever done for the company looking for errors and things they don’t like, even though you may have done those things in perfectly good faith for a previous manager who told you to do them, and then they triumphantly wave them around as evidence that you’re unfit and corrupt and should be sacked. 

We’d all like to work for someone like that, wouldn’t we? We’d definitely do our best work, be inspired to work harder and better, be enthused with loyalty towards our boss and the company and certainly never never never do something we felt was ill-advised for fear that if we spoke up we’d be punished or, heaven forfend, try cover up our mistakes. 

More tomorrow.