ANDY Maciver has weighed Westminster in the balance, and found it wanting ("Why short-term thinking is the disease at the heart of politics", The Herald, September 23). I wonder if UK politics is broken because the typical political “career” is no longer fit for purpose – if it ever was. Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at Oxford, choose a party, become a research assistant, get selected, campaign on the manifesto, win a seat. Now you are under the whip.

The whip strikes me as being utterly preposterous. Why would a man, or woman, of independent mind espouse a cause they don’t believe in? Of course, to nurture a career, to be the family breadwinner – these are honourable pursuits; but under the whip, you might have to quell a pang of conscience.

So you enter government and attain high office. You become education minister, although you’ve never been a teacher. At a cabinet reshuffle, you become health minister, but you’ve never been a doctor, or a nurse. Actually you’ve never been anything. You become adept at doing a piece to camera expounding with a straight face some piece of what Harry G. Frankfurt, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Princeton University, calls “bullshit”. You know it, we know it, everybody knows it.

Would it not be better if we elected teachers, health care workers, plumbers, home helps, and refuse collectors who, perhaps entering their seventh decade, might wish to step back from the daily grind and give the body politic the benefit of their accrued knowledge and wisdom? Such people might consider standing for a single term, out of a sense of civic duty. Then we wouldn’t have to put up with all the braying from the green benches, and the toxic internecine warfare of the party conferences.

As my father used to say, “We are not well governed.”

Dr Hamish Maclaren, Stirling.