I suspect that, no matter wherever in the globe it is that you’re reading this, you will be aware that here in the UK Her Majesty’s parliament has been formally (although sadly not literally) dissolved and the bun fight for power has begun.
I thought that I would take a look at what the major parties are offering for us engineers. A quick search of “(political party) policy engineering” revealed that they are all concerned about the number of young people entering our profession and each has their own idea regarding how to combat it.
Rather interestingly none of the suggested solutions are actually driven by pure political ideology. I had rather hoped to find that the Conservatives would be snatching children’s dinner money, Labour confiscating the gold and fine art of the nobility, and the Liberals doing whatever it is that Liberals are supposed to do - but no. It all actually seems very sensible if universally lack-lustre and somewhat devoid of a grand vision. Of course it could be that they are all spending their time on lesser matters like the economy and employment?
The first thing that springs to mind from this is that as engineers there is no one party offering us anything substantial. They all make the right sort of noises but we are obviously not the section of the electorate being targeted.
In fact the impression is that they see what we bring to our country and economy as being of no interest to any of the electorate whatsoever. No longer is the “white hot heat” of technology seen as important with regard to the nation’s future.
Looking back the politicos are fond of having their photo taken in engineering environments but they then usually talk about non-engineering issues. Generally this is the latest embarrassment to befall their own particular party; be it a senior member going off message, some newly discovered hole in their tightly woven policies or in the case of UKIP a candidate being expelled for unsavoury views….again.
From this our choice of party comes down to either our in-built leanings or matters outside of our profession - but this need not be an entirely bad thing. If the parties are generally in agreement (if only because engineering is not seen as a battleground) and if there is no ideological driver to their solutions for our problems then why not try to get them working together to implement all of their ideas to help us out? We could lobby our institutes to lobby whichever shower actually ends up in power and then, even if we don’t get much, at least we will get something.