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[personal profile] hollymath
I did front of house yesterday for eight hours, only a normal working day but twice as long as I expected to be and it wiped me out. That and the lack of sleep I'd had meant I could keep my eyes open after about eight o'clock and I succumbed to an early bedtime.

I woke up a few hours later and when I checked the time on my phone I saw a message that had been sent only about an hour previously: "Oh on something earlier - I still reckon if Jackie wins you should get a job as a caseworker for her :) You'd be dead good at it."

I think I reacted as I would have if this had been part of a dream, I wasn't as surprised as I think I'd have been if I'd really thought about this. It'd never occurred to me to be a caseworker or indeed any job in politics beyond the one I'd had when I first moved here, that earned me less than the dole so only people who couldn't get dole (me and students mostly) would do it.

But it was a flattering day for me being offered hypothetical political jobs. When discussing the contingency plan for if he won the seat for which he's prospective parliamentary candidate, [personal profile] po8crg said his first step would be to give me a job. Bless him! (In a very him fashion, he later amended this to his second step, after resigning his job so it wouldn't appear on the list of Members' Interests, but still!).

He said "I can't think of anyone better to run my Manchester office. And you'd make damn sure that I didn't forget accessibility in everything I do." And really if he ended up an MP it'd only be because we'd had enough of a landslide that we were the government, so he could hope to be Rail Minister and I'd have fun with all I could do about accessibility there!

In the meantime, for any of my friends lucky enough not to know what I'm talking about or why this passes for small talk among my friends, I've been recommending Argonauts of the incredibly specific: anthropological field notes on the Liberal Democrat animal, a long (and using an uncomfortable number of metaphorical allusions to African and Asian cultures in an uncomfortably superficial way) but hugely informative description of British politics in general and being a Lib Dem specifically. Not in terms of policies or individuals, but in procedures and patterns observed by someone who used to be one up until he wrote this. I find it hugely enjoyable to read in the same way I used to feel about song lyrics I identified with as a teenager: it's good to feel that someone out there really understands you.

And while there are bits I'd quibble with (I actually still believe conferences have a function beyond the kinship rituals, because we're writing policy and anyone can join in--a much underrated feature of being a Lib Dem, if you ask me), there's a lot I laughed at or nodded vigorously at too.

Anyway, here's what it says about the job I've been told I'd be good at.
Caseworkers are the closest approximation politicians have to real human beings. Obviously everybody looks down on them for not being “political”. Caseworkers tend to work 9–5 and have friends outside of politics. They also deal with real problems that happen in the real world. Unsurprisingly therefore caseworkers tend to be the most diverse and broadly representative political caste: there are caseworkers of all ages, races, genders and shudder classes.

It always amuses me that parties' plans to increase diversity seem to consist, not of turning politics into something a sane human being might want to do, but in convincing working-class BME women that they too should make the kind of mad irrational ego-driven choices that white twentysomething childless middle-class men do.
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