If you can't be bothered to read Peter Oborne's masterwork The Triumph of the Political Class, you should at least watch him being interviewed about it by Iain Dale on 18 Doughty Street.
Oborne's analysis of the ills of current-day politics and journalism is spot-on and, in the light of recent events, his bewailing of the tendency of career politicians to come into the House without any previous experience of life is particularly topical.
This point is usually made in relation to people with no experience of running a business. Indeed Dale himself makes that very point in his interview. Oborne however reminds us that it is not just a lack of business experience we are talking about here but a lack of any sort of experience outside of machine politics.
Military experience is a good example. During the latter stages of World War 2, the Allies staged an amphibious landing in the area of Anzio, Italy, intended to outflank the Axis forces and enable an attack on Rome. The Military Landing Officer for the British assault brigade at Anzio was Major Denis Healey, who went on to become possibly our most distinguished postwar Defence Secretary from 1964-70.
My fellow Newcastle Journal columnist, Denise Robertson, recently expressed her frustration at the downgrading of experience as a political virtue with her own characteristic bluntness.
"I thought Cameron had a nerve standing for leader of his party after four years in the Commons. Now Clegg and Huhne are doing it after two, while some Labour ministers look as if they are still shaving their bum-fluff."