Bill Ralston writes:
The problem is power breeds arrogance. As a minister, you have access to massive amounts of information not accessible to the general public.
You know more than they do. You know why your Government is doing, or not doing, certain things.
The Great Unwashed do not. Inevitably, as a minister, you develop a somewhat condescending attitude to those who elected you.
Worse, the salary, the allowances, the limos, the free housing and the insulating layers of staff end up effectively bubblewrapping a minister.
If you have not had to pay the mortgage, done the weekly grocery shop, filled the car with petrol and listened to a casual conversation at the local pub, the chances are you have bugger-all idea what the rest of us are going through.
While ordinary people are fretting about paying their kids’ school fees, worrying about that big dental bill coming up and watching their earnings being eroded by inflation, as a minister you are, instead, musing the upcoming Treasury forecasts.
No one cares if you had a “good day in the House”.
They would not know and would care less.
The secret to any successful Government is “keeping it real” and staying in touch with the genuine concerns of the voters who put you in power of the country.