Scapegoats in the 21st Century – Politicians?!

In almost every time of struggle, whether that struggle be economic, military, social or spiritual, human nature has shown a remarkable sense of ease in creating scapegoats to discriminate against.

It would not be very controversial to say that in the present crisis immigrants, religious minorities, gypsies, the homeless and the homebound are being discriminated against. But what about others who are overlooked?

For example what about those in the lower class we label “chavs”? What about the rich who we attack for their stranglehold on power? What about bankers, who most likely are the profession most labelled “wankers” in history? And what too about politicians?

If you have political experience on your CV today recruitment advisers tell you to take it off. It doesn’t matter if that’s in organising national campaigns, managing staff etc i.e. things relevant to the job being applied for. Groups who should be only too willing to talk to politicians hang up the phone on them. Employers refuse to give them interviews. And I’m not exaggerating here. A friend of mine was recently told quite specifically by a potential employer that he would never be given an interview while he held a position of political leadership, and no that wasn’t a job in the public sector. People respond with scorn when you say that you’re involved with politics. And the natural assumption is that politicians are, well… evil and corrupt.

What are your thoughts? Are we scapegoating those outside the obvious groups? If so who are we discriminating against? And if not why is it justifiable to treat people in a certain way simply because of their job or leisure time title?


  • In politics, facts are subverted by opinion. It’s an approach that would soon prove terminal in a private enterprise and is no way to run a country either.

  • I wouldn’t employ someone who did nothing but sit watching tv all day either. Why should I assume that because someone watches TV in their private time they must also do so at work?

  • It could also be, depending on the business, that they promote a cultural and societal state of homogenity.

  • I can understand that there could be such a situation as you describe. It would be a little particular, but still possible.

    Basically the employer is scared that his clients/customers will be offended or upset. Upset either by a statement made by your friend in his political capacity, or upset by the idea that the employers’ organization has a political bias.

    It’s a very capricious situation to my ideas, but quite in-line with the ‘politically-correct’ climate that is standard policy.

    For example, at our job place you must clear any outside work or positions on boards with the “Ethics” committee.

    My opinion, and action, is that I refuse to tell them what I do in my outside hours because that is my private life which they do not have a right too, and I also refuse to give authority to a private enterprise “Ethics” committee ahead of my own ethical views.

    Another example of “Corporate Ethics” was the dropping of Jessie Ryder from the NZ cricket team two weeks ago. Jessie has a drinking problem, so it had been written into his contract that he can’t drink on the days the team is playing.

    The NZ team lost a 5 day game against SA. That night, after the loss, Jessie was ‘caught’ (by the media) having a drink at a bar in his hometown (where the game was played).

    The coach then made a statement that Jessie’s conduct was not of the standard required to represent NZ and he was to be dropped from the team.

    I think it is outrageous, unethical, and inhuman of the NZ cricket board to treat Jessie that way. But the point for this post is why they treated him like that.

    Because the NZ cricket team has sponsers who help pay their wages. The sponsers, in their corporate capacity, want only wholesome role models to help sell their products. The main sponser is National Bank of NZ by the way.

    Those role models must not make statements that can raise debate or tempers or controversy. And their behaviour mustn’t either.

    Of course this is only the policy of naive firms and organisations (proof in this instance being that Jessie is easily one of our top players, and the NZ cricket team is hopelessly shit).

    Smart successful firms on the other hand actually go out of their way to hire people of political position. Goldman Sachs anyone?

    At the highest levels of corporate society connections are the most important thing. Absolutely no doubt.

    If you look at any company’s prospectus you will see that their Board of Directors also hold numerous directorships on other boards, institutional organisations, and affiliated bodies.

  • Craig, an interesting point and most certainly a reality in some firms. But isn’t that still social discrimination?

    Sean, I can’t remember a better post. I know the logic behind the ethics committees and all – to tackle cross directorships, so that directors can’t sit on multiple boards and things like that. But you’re most definitely right that unless it is explicitly related with the firm and affects your/their work in some way they should not have the right to know.

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