Firebrands, Insight and my waning affection for a woman called Nadine.

As someone with an interest in politics but no particular party affiliation I find myself with a (sometime reluctant) affection for a certain type of politician…

This type of politician comes from the left, and the right and sometimes has opinions and views which vary between the two!

It includes politicians as diverse as Dennis Skinner, Michael Fabricant, Boris Johnson and George Galloway…..even Nigel Farage!

Politicians who I’m not sure would be appropriate to run the country but who seem to speak their own mind, often say and do things that might get them into a bit of bother (including god forbid they’ve got a sense of humour and a bit of a personality!)  and don’t seem afraid to express what they believe.

So here’s my confession…

My name is Chris Daems and I’m a fan of the political firebrand!

Also whilst the list of political firebrands I’ve mentioned is full of white blokes (not that different from the norm then!)…..it seems that many of the individuals who are currently mixing up politics are women.

Among quite a few others….the likes of Stella Creasy (who campaigned diligently and successfully to ensure there was more focus on the practices of the payday loan ‘industry’) and Penny Mourdant are not only changing the way that politics is being seen but also are bold enough to take some risks which doesn’t necessarily tow the party line.

Another of the female mp’s who I consider a political firebrand, and have a decent amount of respect for, is….

Nadine Dorries.

The fact that she’s had a ‘real life’ outside of politics (she used to be a nurse and then built and sold a business)

The fact that she decided to go on ‘I’m a celebrity’ and lose the conservative whip (it may be considered populist, but this move had the opportunity to get millions more engaged in the political process – a good thing right?)

However I’m afraid that  my affection for Nadine has waned due to something she said in a recent Telegraph article!

Now you can read the article online here but the statement which annoyed me and is worth highlighting is this bit…

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If there was one thing you could change about the financial world what would that be?

I would introduce a new layer of governance and accountability to those who invest money on others’ behalf, and therefore introduce a new transparency and honesty in the financial services market which isn’t there at the moment. Every day people have their savings stolen from them by people who claim to be trained financial advisers.

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Erm, sorry Nadine?

Do you mean the UK financial planning and advice profession?

A profession which is among the most regulated sectors in the country?

A profession which has in recent years, and whilst far from the end of the journey and with plenty of work to do, has gone through massive change to ensure that there is more transparency and accountability?

I know this was published in 2015…..but did they interview in the late 1980’s / early 1990’s?

However the more I thought about this the more my perspective changed….

Now you and I know that Nadine’s comments are uninformed and dangerous.

Uninformed because the profession has been (and is going through) a huge positive change in recent years.

Dangerous because in an environment where legislation, including the new pension reforms, mean that advice for many more will be needed. Therefore comments which paint the financial advice or planning profession as crooks means that some will decide not to take advice and make decisions which aren’t in their best interest!

I know this….but what if?

What if Nadine, as political firebrands tend to do, is just speaking her mind?

What if Nadine thinks this? Do other politicians feel the same way?

If many politicians feel this way how will this impact how the profession is regulated in future years?

Also, what if Nadine is just representing the views of her constituents? and how many people in the UK still have this old fashioned and out of date perception of what we do?

So, does Nadine’s response give us a particularly useful insight…or not?

If the general perception of the profession is still a mainly negative one what can we do about it?

I don’t know the answers to these questions (as usual on my Adviser Lounge articles) which is why I’d be really interested in your thoughts…

Let me know what you think.