David Blackburn

I dunno, how many hedgerows have we lost since the war?

I dunno, how many hedgerows have we lost since the war?
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There’s a tremendous post on the FT's blog, inviting 20 influential public figures to ask questions that they believe incoming MPs should be able to answer. Jim Pickard explains:

‘But what should we be looking for in the people we elect to run the country? The question of what knowledge and expertise the ideal MP should possess is not much debated. So FT Weekend invited 20 experts in various fields to come up with questions that – in their opinion – any would-be MP should be able to answer. This exercise throws up an obvious problem right away: the areas of knowledge that our questioners address are so disparate that no normal person could reasonably be expected to answer all 20 of the questions.’

It’s brilliant late Friday afternoon stuff - the most esoteric general knowledge test ever. It will come as no surprise to most CoffeeHousers that my standard answer to the vast majority of questions was to scratch my head, screw up my face and say “Hmmm,” as if in the midst of some Kierkegaardian contemplation. In short, I hadn't a clue. I think even Gail Trimble would struggle to answer these questions, and the diverse questions suggest that the public wants the next parliament to be the parliament of paragons and supermen. If we ask too much they can only disappoint, which would be disastrous for our politics.