Painting of City Hall ©2013-Cathy-Read-City-Hall-London-Watercolour-and-Acrylic-55-x-75-cm

City Hall – can you beat it?

You can’t fight City Hall!

Or so the saying goes. Although I don’t think they were referring to London’s City Hall, just the notion of the powerful bureaucracy of a nameless city.

City Hall’s a distinctive building on the south bank of the Thames.

It represents the centre of local government for the London area. They built it further downstream from the original County hall. I can’t help wondering whether permission for the new building was influenced by a desire to move local government further from the Houses of Parliament. Possibly inspired by Ken Livingston’s term as Mayor of London and his public displaying of current unemployment figures on the front of the old county hall.

I like to think it made them feel uncomfortable at least. People are our most valuable resource and we should be finding work for them although I agree we should support them if there is none available. There’s enough on that to fill another post or 3.

Politicians are a funny crowd aren’t they?

Like the colour in the painting, colourful characters make politics interesting. We may love/hate them for it but often radical ideas are what’s needed. Of course, there can be a fine line between colourful and insane and some of them do make you wonder whether they’re “all there”.

There are few roles in life that are under such public scrutiny and require equal measures of performance and ability. We want politicians to do the job well but we won’t employ them if we don’t like them. So public image is everything.

We need the colourful politicians, to grab our attention

and upset the status quo where it needs upsetting but we also need the skilled to run the country. They should come from all walks of life, if they are to understand the people they serve. Too often those in power have come from positions of privilge and wealth and, whilst that in itself is not a bad thing, there should be variety. It is not easy for someone from a low income family, reliant on state education to rise above it. Yes they can succeed, but it requires exceptional qualities.

I’ve always been aware of the opportunities I was given to have my further education paid for.

I have more than repaid that debt in taxes. So I find it incredible that young people today aren’t given the same opportunities. Now, more than ever we have to make the way more open to those with the right skillsets to take us out of debt, deal with terrorist threats, mismanagement of public facilites etc. The people we need may not have had the opportunity to go to Eton or Harrow. Which is why we must open the doors to allow every person to become what we need them to be.

©2013 - Cathy Read - City Hall, London - Watercolour and Acrylic - 55 x 75 cm
©2013 – Cathy Read – City Hall, London – Watercolour and Acrylic – 55 x 75 cm

If only we could see the potential value of people the right education we’d invest in it instead of placing more obstacles in the way of those already struggling. If we carry on in the same way we will get what we always got. Perhaps it’s time to mix things up, get some colour back.

Maybe then we won’t have to fight City Hall because it will work for us?

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