Westminster is suffering major recruitment problems, according to Andrew Marr, political editor of the BBC.
Speaking at the Personnel Today’s HR Directors Club, Marr said wannabe politicians face low pay, a miserable start – as a backbencher – and have few chances of getting into cabinet.
Even if they do, there is a good chance they will be kicked out. With their private lives coming under intense scrutiny, a career in politics is unattractive to quality recruits, he said.
“We desperately need more good people in politics,” he said at the event in the Imperial War Museum in London. “It is depressing to see the young people coming in with no [relevant] experience.”
“It’s a volatile [political scene] and it will affect your business. There is a good chance within this year that we will have a new prime minister. The Labour party is worried about what is going to happen. It feels its huge majority is going to slashed significantly.”
Marr added that if Blair lost his loyalists he would be left with people he had “fired, never hired in the first place, or mocked”. Blair’s relationship with chancellor of the exchequer, Gordon Brown, was “catastrophic”, Marr said.
In the rest of the political landscape the Conservatives are more united than in a long time. They, like the Liberal Democrats, could gain significant wins over Labour.
“Election night results will be odder than the commentators think at the moment,” said Marr.
What, though, would a Labour government under a different leader look like? “Brown’s agenda is Britishness and therefore he is sceptical about aspects of the EU, left-leaning and pro the US government,” he said.
Asked if the trade union barons were still major power brokers in Britain, Marr replied that unions were no longer very influential. He said Brown had good links with them and although union votes mattered to Labour, they would not swing the election.
He added it was important to note that new generation union leaders were not that interested in the Labour party which they saw as a “semi-permanent government to which they have no real connections”.