This week’s Economist has a very interesting piece on the political establishment in today’s United Kingdom. George Osborne, shadow chancellor, is 38. In his inner circle, advisers Rohan Silva and Rupert Harrison are 28 and 30; his chief of staff, Matthew Hancock, is 31; his speechwriter, Ameet Gill, 27. On the Labour side, Torsten Henricson-Bell, adviser to chancellor Alistair Darling, is 27. Gordon Brown’s speechwriter is said to be 29, and some of Mr. Brown’s policy unit members are reportedly “boyish”. And so on.
Greenness has its drawbacks, sure. Yet, as Bagehot remarks, “lack of personal experience does not disqualify someone from holding valid opinions, if curiosity and hard work compensate.” So, how about freshening up Italy’s gerontocracy? We don’t have enough fresh-faced UK-style policy wonks of our own: let’s just import them. They may perceive as “distant and hypothetical” some of the “grimly adult” “substance of politics — pensions, child-rearing and so on”; yet, they can hardly do worse at these topics than our septuagenarian leaders, can they?