Sunday, September 20, 2009

Interview with a Leader (part 2)

Who knew the Lib Dem blogosphere was so dangerous? Yesterday I said I'd reveal the person who admitted to internet piracy during the bloggers' interview with that nice Mr Clegg. Since then, pressure has been applied. Spill the beans and I could be forced to undertake a number of dubious activities for Lib Dem Voice or face the consequences.

I will say that the self-confessed criminal admitted to illegally watching videos featuring sweaty men in very tight lycra. It wasn't possible to obtain these videos legally in the UK; something the person in question was none too happy about.

But let us leave that unpleasant episode to one side and move on.

The topic of volunteering was raised by two non-bloggers who attended the interview (their write-up will appear on Lib Dem Voice). Are volunteers looked down on by employers when they go for jobs? Is volunteering seen as a second-class activity on a CV compared to earning real money?

For what it's worth, on the occasions when I've been involved in recruiting I've looked for skills and experience. How someone got them didn't really matter. If they could show me they'd got the skills and experience I was looking for, they'd a good chance.

Having said that, when an employer's faced with tens or even hundreds of CVs for one job, not every one's going to be read in detail and all your good work will be for nothing if yours doesn't catch the eye of the secretary spending his or her afternoon doing that first cull.

You didn't come here for employment advice though, did you? No, thought not. You came here for a deep and detailed discussion on political philosophy, and that's what you're going to get. No! Wait! Don't go!

How about if I drop the discussion and just say a little about Nick's reasons for writing a 92 page pamphlet on Lib Dem history, philosophy and policy.

Much to my surprise, Nick claimed that annoying me wasn't one of the reasons behind it - even though it did (it came out three days before the interview and, like several other bloggers in the room, I felt obliged to at least have a stab at reading it).

Nor does Nick see the Lib Dems being swept to power on the back of stories about J.S. Mill in the Daily Mail and articles on the liberal philosophical tradition in Focus leaflets up and down the land - something for which we should all be profoundly grateful.

Instead, so he claims, the pamphlet is an attempt to show how the party's policies connect with its core values and philosophy, not so much for public consumption but to keep it real. It does that pretty well. Don't take it as an academic work or a campaign guide, but if you're of a philosophical bent and want to remind yourself why you're in the party, you could do worse.

And that brings me to the end - of what I'm willing to write anyway. The great facial hair debate and the crutch-decorating advice clinic, among others, will simply have to remain unreported.


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