Age and wisdom

Lord Soley

  I was talking to an Ambassador at the Labour Party conference and he said he was saddened about the ever lower age of British political leaders. He said he had always associated Britain with wise statesmanship and that the younger age of Prime Ministers meant we were no longer getting this.

 There have been younger prime ministers than now – Pitt I think became PM at 24 (or was it 25 – Lord Norton please advise!)  Age and wisdom can be an advantage but youthful vision is not to a bad thing either.

 Perhaps we should make the House of Lords a House of Elders – at least that would justify my presence there!

Any views?

13 comments for “Age and wisdom

  1. 01/10/2010 at 5:53 am

    I would make the criterion to include both 1. The natural or innate ‘God-given’ maturation level and
    2. The civilisation level of individual-development in know-how and knowledge.

    The first would need to include the seven innate human-energy-centres as somato-psychic & psycho-somatic energy centres or as sacramental energy centres.

    The second would need to include skills at living as well as of the Workplace, and Behavioural “clean sheets”‘
    The Battle of Britain was largely won by RAF pilots under the age of 25; whilst at the other end of the age-scale Lord Bertrand Russell is well known for (a) his condemnation by American middle-class parents and universities for teaching clear-thinking in USA when he was a mature-aged professor there, and (b) when even older being awarded the Nobel prize (for clear thinking); and it is said that well beyond the age of seventy he fathered a further family; and that is not to mention his having been dumped into the bitter freezing North Sea in a heavy overcoat and having swum and survived that, at a much older age than that of the peak Spitfire pilot who after age 25 tended to be that much slower to have become more lkely “cannon fodder” than the pilot between age 18 and 25.

    That is what I have read or heard.
    So NO; do NOT base power nor position majorly upon elderliness (nor upon “wealth” – this latter only tends very strongly into complacencies and unreal mind-functionings).

  2. 01/10/2010 at 8:43 am

    JSDM also advises:
    There is a seriously urgent and important democratic Need to publicise and teach to all of The People the clear distinctions that have to be made between different and necessarily contrasting and often dangerously-conflicting meanings and applications of the term “leadership”.

    To begin with one distinguishes, and strongly reasons that the whole human-race should be disinguishing, between Workplace leadership and Lifeplace leadership.

    A Worker in the definitive 25% time-frame ‘leads’ by power, pay-grade, and ideally by superior know-how and-or knowledge, so is more properly defined and classified at some level of ‘Command’;

    and that more proper defining is all the more necessary because of the increasing but still largely hidden and unrecognised principal need for a Lifestyle-leader to show, by his-her own individual 75% lifeplace time-frame budgeting, how followers can make their equal incomes go further. (Further than before such followers, within The Public, could see a lifestyle-leader demonstrating by example, not over-simply on an ‘Open Day’ once a year, but by 24/7/52/5year visibility, and-or by regularly published unbiased professional audit).

    The lifestyle-leader has to be always transparently demonstrating how it is possible for a large number of followers drawing or being-given the same income as that life-leader, to improve their budgeting to make their incme go further than it would have done without that life-leader becoming visible and publicly-auditable.
    Therefore both the Ambassador at the Labour Paty Conference and all those who over-simply classify or speak of politicians, or any Workplace individuals, teams, or groups-of-individuals as “Leaders”
    are at their outset in falsehood and thereafter indelibly stained by fallaciousness (until they self-correct publicly).
    Hyphenated-leadership would, I propose, be very acceptable to the great majority of clearly-reasoning People.

    That ‘leading’ and therefore leadership of some kind has to have a primary place in the Workplace, as well as a very different kind of ‘leading’ having to be present in non-workplace timeframes of many kinds, is axiomatic.

    What should also be made axiomatic is that every kind of leadership needs to be very clearly specified, even at some length and certainly whenever mentioned in Hansard, on the News and in the Press; such as

    “25% educational-leadership” meaning in the paid-job Education-Workplace or Sector;

    as distinct from

    “75% £100-£200pw lifestyle-leadership” meaning an unpaid person living a publicly-audited lifestyle that if emulated will help many same-income individuals make their income go further.

    Without such clear hyphenated distinctions, “political leadership” fails as a term in public-understanding, formal-argumentation, and moral-reasoning.

    So, Lord Soley, and your peers, provided you get hyphenated, I would think that your presence, almost any-where, would be acceptable !


  3. Gareth Howell
    01/10/2010 at 10:23 am

    Yes. When will we once more have a Prime minister of 75 or even 80, instead of 45?

    A good deal of wisdom surely comes with years, like Bob Mugabe for example falling asleep in cabinet meetings because it is so boring, at age 89?!!

    01/10/2010 at 11:03 am

    I think the problem is to do with Culture. Sadly we live in a world were we expect people we see in prominence to be Young and pretty. Beautiful women and Handsome men, all under 50 to be sure, and preferably no older than mid 30’s.

    This is because of the Glamour of it all.

    That, and we also glorify the new, and the exciting. We have let go of our Traditions, and our past, and long ago stopped venerating the wisdom of old in favour o the new. Older people are viewed as being relics of the past and not bringing in the new.

    The same happened here in America in 2008. Barrack Obama’s appeal rested on many factors but one of them was his Youth. We did not care that he had no expense, he was Young and therefore he would change things up and reflect our times!

    Change! We all seem to want it these days, and we want to seize the world for the new people of tomorrow, not leave it dwindling on the old!

    Of course, it reminds me of what I read in the book of Proverbs if you will. From the 24th Chapter.

    21. My son, fear thou the Lord and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change:
    22. For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?

    We seem however to have gotten away form this and now want the new, and the Youth seem to be venerated above the Old. We have a tendency to view the story as the Youth replacing the Older Generation, and tossing out its ways because they have found better ways. it’s a sort of bizarre evolutionary belief, that the Young have come along and figured it out but are somehow stopped by the elders who want to hold everyone back.

    It can’t be that the elders know what they are on about and the new ways been tried before and failed.

    I actually agree with you though, and feel we’d be better served if the older generation held the top positions, for they have accumulated life experiences. They may lack the Youthful energy and not be quit as exciting, but I can tell you this much, they know a good deal more.

    Then again I want to restore the Hereditary peers as well, so I’m rather into Tradition as opposed to the whole “Change” thing. I didn’t go for Obama either. Perhaps no one will listen to me. Maybe I’m now old, well before my time! Can I at least finish off getting my doctorate before I’m given my official rocking chair?

    01/10/2010 at 11:08 am

    Not to overload the Bible quotes but one more that may be nice.

    Proverbs 20:29. The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the gray head.

    The Bible also mentions several other nice things about older people being wise, and so do many other texts. Buddhism, for instance, venerates age.

    Perhaps the worlds great Wisdom Traditions were onto something.

  6. Carl.H
    01/10/2010 at 12:09 pm

    Since the most enlightened observations and clear truths are oft by innocent children perhaps a Lords of 4 years olds maybe in order. That said it may just be a little too Commons like !


  7. Chris K
    01/10/2010 at 1:31 pm

    It’s funny how politicians go on about making the Commons “more representative”, by which they mean more women and “ethnic minorities”, but never old people.

    And of course it’s completely wrong for us to be told that the Commons needs more of x ‘type’ of person anyway. It’s already representative insofar as we have elected who we want to represent our constituency. Surely that’s the whole point of democracy?

    In my ideal world I think politicians should be old. It makes it more likely that they’ve had a proper job outside of Whitehall and “politics”.

    I also firmly believe that the best would-be politicians are those who would never ever choose to go into politics. That’s partly why we need a House of Lords, and also why the hereditary system had many merits.

    • Senex
      03/10/2010 at 2:47 pm

      “and also why the hereditary system had many merits”. Correction: “and also why the hereditary system has many merits”

  8. Croft
    01/10/2010 at 1:54 pm

    24 – although iirc Pitt was offered the job some 6 months earlier – but declined – which would otherwise have seen him PM at 23.

    I’m suspicious of age arguments – that someone could be PM aged 80 long ago is not it seems to me much of an argument for that being the case today. The job and its pressures have changed.

    Nevertheless if those people were older because politics was their second career after a successful business life then it might have some merit. However quite the reverse seems to be occurring. We have an ever growing number of ministers who have gone from university political societies to state/party subsidised think tanks to party sinecures to SPADS to MPs to cabinet without ever meeting the real word. That’s the sort of age and experience we can do without – living you life in the political bubble is a recipe for delusion.

  9. 01/10/2010 at 10:15 pm

    ((( Every post to this “Age and wisdom” so far shows at least some definite hint of having all three princples of good-communication and sound-reasoning awarely in mind:
    Self-correction preparedness ))).
    Chris K. I’m not sure whether the ‘definition’ you use in your second paragraph, that parliament is already being “representative”, is free from fallacy;

    and perhaps your question that

    (“)surely the whole point of democracy is for we the people to have elected the person we want to represent every ‘subject’ living in our constituency (“) –

    ((which even under ‘British democracy’ still remains a closed and adversarially-dominated locality, not simply in favour of the richest and most powerful of the constituents, but neglectfully even ‘punitively’ towards the financially, educationally, and organisationally poorest constituents)) –

    would need a critical-response.

    For many, the point or purpose of democracy is, or perhaps should be, for every citizen (subject) to have her-his needs, hows. and affordable-costs presented to legislative parliamentary level, there to be fairly scrutinised, and eventually included in legislation, by competent governance-qualified workers:

    not primarily at all by politically and adversarially-driven go-getting careerist ‘representatives’, cartel-ing between each other in luxurious lifesgtyle bubbles; the latter to an individual never having been willing, able and successful at advocating the aforesaid needs and hows of every subject, neither in the Nation as a whole, nor egalitarianly for each in their constituency;

    and we are talking real down-to-earth necessities here, not luxuries.

    Am I making sense ?

  10. Gareth Howell
    02/10/2010 at 10:12 am

    Zarove’s single remark says all that needs to be said. I am surprised that he/she does not take the lesson to heart.(and JDSM too)

    GLAMOUR. The medium is the message not just for monarchy but for democratic leadership as well. The message as John Major realized early on, really does not matter, especially if you have somebody like Mrs T to follow!

    • 03/10/2010 at 4:09 am

      GH continues to communiate like a dyed-in-the-wool self-centred Politician, namely avoiding Clarity, Charity and Self-correction preparedness.

      He/She speaks in ‘riddles’ as if it is the reader’s duty to mind-read him/her.

      GH – if you have an ear to hear – what do you mean by “Z’s single remark says all that needs to be said” ?
      And what lesson is it that you claim tp be surprised at he/she allegedly not taking to heart ?(and allegedly “JSDM too” –

      what ? that she/he has not taken JSDM to heart ? or that JSDM has not taken “the lesson” to heart ?)

      What “lesson” ?
      And how the deuce do you expect the reader to interpret your gobbledegook-like second paragraph big-main-headed “GLAMOUR”, for some “medium” and some equally nondescript “message” (except that you opine it “does not matter”) which you claim a previous Tory PM John Major early realized, and inferrably would have especially-realized had he known Mrs Thatcher was going to follow as PM ?
      The principles of Clarity, Charity and Self-correction-preparedness are there largely because subjects like GH, having either not yet realised that Politicking has long been the satanic-servant of the very opposite orrection, or having become a kind of ‘Court-fool’ gathering up the morsels tidbits and crumbs the Political-Tables leave in their unworthy-wake, can and should do better by employing good-communication, true-facts, honest formal argumentation & clear moral reasoning:
      Be Clarificational: make your own communication unequivocally clear; and where need be then clarify another’s communication (this latter being the essential of the next principle, Charity, too)

      Be Charitable: reflect the good essence or parts of another’s communication and argumentation; as well as skilfully* ‘highlighting’,’isolating’, and ‘excising’ the false or fallacious parts therein.

      Be Self-Correction-prepared: be ready, willing, and able to retract any of your assertion or submission that another has shown to be in error or fallacious.

      * skilfully = “when we break the body or” (vel) “spill the blood of the Earth skilfully, it is a sacrament; (but when we break and spill clumsily it is a Blasphemy)”. Oliver Wendell Holmes.
      GH, you should also clarify what you mean by “monarchy” and by “democratic leadership” if you really mean well.

      JSDM 0409Sn03Oct10

  11. ZAROVE
    02/10/2010 at 7:59 pm

    Gareth, this is why I’m not too big on Democracy.

    I never did like how the system works. We don’t vote for the best, most moral, most competent person to hold office, we can’t. For one thing, those sots usually don’t run. The Ambitious run, who want power either to fulfil their own self important egotistical needs, or else to push an agenda, either out of being a self important Ideologue, or out of belonging to a political party.

    And the Party’s pick the people who run for office in the end, unless they run as independents. (And little chance of getting in.)

    The party’s always pick the most attractive or Charismatic person to go for, then send them out to woe the crowds. This they do by staging entertainment events known as Campaigns, and by demonising the rivals whilst saying they are the only Hope. Over here in Americas I see a lot of Signs leading up to the November Election, and one fun one reads “Save America, Vote Republican!”. The Democrats are just as bad of course.

    Then the people vote. This is nothing but a glorified Popularity contest but we pretend it reflects some General Will of the people, as if everyone just sort of gets along durin he process. We forget all the hatred and bile that goes with electiosn and how the people voting for the other guy is often not a “real” Englishman or Scotsman or not Truly British, or here not really an American.

    The Candidates rest on the Raw Passion of the crowds, stoked higher by the competitions camp because we have to beat them you see, the future of the Nation is at Stake, and then when its all over half the people complain for however long the term is before next elections are called.

    Its often th emost audacious of conmen who get eleced anyway.

    In fact, Burt Purlinsky explained hwy I was a Monarchist just yesterday, although he’s not as Monarchist and would not really agree with my views. Below is the link.

    People vote for politicians to get what they want, and this breeds selfishness and division in society. It also ensures that only those seeking power ever get it, and often those seeking power simply aren’t all that good, and this is particularly true in the United States.

    The Irony is I tell people I’m a monarchist here and they think I’m insane. ( well, till they learn my background then thing its just nostalgia.) Thy associate voting with Freedom.

    That’s weird because they will never stop talking bathos horrible Politicians are and how corrupt, but when I offer a system that reduces or eliminates their role, I’m somehow horrible and Politicians transform into the most honest and caring people on the planet. Before, they want to steal our money and rob us of our liberty, after, they are the guardians of freedom and prosperity. It works every time.

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