No one would wish to fly with a pilot, or undergo an operation with a surgeon, unless one were sure that they were professional but how that word has become a curse for Britain in other ways. One cannot hear an idiotic social worker defending the latest return of a child to thuggish parents, or the persecution of an innocent family due to mindless social theories, without the spokesman asserting a dozen times that the social services are child care professionals.
Whenever some teachers' union representative seeks to convince us that vast numbers of children leaving school without decent qualifications is definitely not the fault of the ridiculous comprehensive policies they have forced upon us, he or she will insist that they are the education professionals, while politically correct senior police officers will assure us that they, the professionals, have been responsible for a drop in violent crime, while ordinary people are afraid to walk the streets. The latter's colleagues in the court system will of course also pat us on the head and tell us that they, the professional officers of the law, are quite right to persist in treating criminals as needing help, not punishment.
Eclipsing all these is the one occupation where the term professional has actually become applicable and yet has done the most damage, and that is among the political class. When the ranks of trade unionists behind Attlee sat opposite Churchill's Conservatives no one could doubt that on all sides there were men and women who were there because they believed in the political creed they espoused and yet who did not regard being a politician as their only aim or justification. Now we are faced with the vast majority of MPs being nothing more than careerists, who have for the most part never held down a proper job and have moved from student debating societies through parasitic professions such as lobbyists or public relations advisors to take their place in the main political parties
Of course there are honourable exceptions, but they are few and are a dying breed. The modern politician has no belief other than in his or her own self advancement and would never seriously oppose their party leaderships on a matter of principle. They are trained to avoid every question, to lie on command and to put party, and worse, the interests of the political class, before anything so laughable to them as country or the economic well being of the people they claim to represent. Why else would we have gone further and further into the European project, which is destructive of both our democracy and our prosperity, were it not that the EU represents the highest ideal a modern politician can aspire to, power and privilege without accountability. They each pretend to offer an alternative to the other main parties but in fact they have much more in common with each other, and with the political class in the rest of Europe, than they do with the British, or European people.
They are generally not overtly corrupt, in that most would not accept direct bribes, but the payment they receive for handing over the democratic rights of the British is to be included as passengers on the EU gravy train, taking part in numerous conferences at the taxpayers expense, and, for the fortunate among them, access to sinecures as MEPs, receiving vast salaries and expenses for rubber stamping the diktats of the true masters of the EU, the Brussels' bureaucrats.
The Romans had an appropriate saying to sum up this situation 'Who will guard the guardians?' and, when the supposed champions of democracy have sold out, how can the people hold them to account? In truth it looks unlikely that any modern Cromwell will arise to cleanse our parliament of those who have debased it and the apathy of the public, combined with a political system designed to keep the power in the hands of the main party leaders will almost certainly ensure things do not change. The only workable democratic solution would be a return to elected representatives not being full time, so called professionals, but, as was once the case in local government, people who actually lived and worked in the real world and took on the responsibilities of authority for reasons of conviction and a belief in the public good.
There can be few things more likely to induce nausea than modern politicians claiming that they are there to serve the public and that they have sacrificed more lucrative careers to work for their country. Most of them would not have been able to succeed in any real field of endeavour and the only service they have done is to preside over the decline of almost everything which once made this country a decent place to live. If, as we know to be true, people despise politicians, and hold them in contempt, there can be no doubt that they richly deserve it. In their case the adjective professional describes and values them in much the same way as the practitioners of that other profession, known as the oldest in the world.