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High-powered Social Work.

July 7, 2009

Why is it that MPs think that just because their party got them elected they can do anything? Gordon Brown thinks that with no relevant qualification or experience he can become a teacher. The late Tony Banks thought that he did high-powered social work. He announced his retirement in 2004 and was then quoted as saying:

“To be honest I found it intellectually numbing, and tedious in the extreme. I most certainly won’t miss the constituency work. I’ve got to tell you that honestly. It’s 22 years of the same cases, but just the faces and the people changing. It might sound a little disparaging to say this about people’s lives and their problems and we did deal with them … but I got no satisfaction from this at all. I really didn’t. And all you were was a sort of high-powered social worker and perhaps not even a good one at that”

I am almost certain that Tony Banks (Baron Stratford) never went to a family home and demanded to see and check the children because bangs and screams had been heard by neighbours. I’m equally almost certain that he never went with a psychiatrist to attempt to assess a person in the midst of a florid psychotic breakdown and get him or her into hospital. Looking at his biography I saw no sign that he ever trained as a social worker (or for any other profession) and his political career seems to show that he was much more interested in animal than human welfare.

So what was this “high-powered” social work he thought did? I suspect that he listened patiently to “tedious” constituents and wrote letters to various authorities on their behalf.  He may have assured the supplicants that a letter from him on House of Commons notepaper would really make the bureaucrats sit up and take note. I’m not at all surprised that Tony Banks found this intellectually numbing and tedious but it certainly was not social work of any sort let alone the high-powered model.

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