Letter: Hothouse training does not produce good leaders

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The Independent Online
Sir: I wish Sir Douglas Hague luck in redefining the role of leaders, but his solution - creating ways of selecting and training a new leadership elite - is a flawed and dangerous approach. Perhaps he should wait until the Human Genome Project has been completed, so that his leaders can be cloned and nurtured from a sound genetic basis.

While agreeing that governmental leadership must be team leadership, I dispute the need to 'speed up innovation in education' as the necessary basis to produce the next generation of leaders. This appears fanciful at a time when we still have a major problem in agreeing a 'right' approach for the general education of the population.

It has been said that the best education for life is life itself. So let it be for politicians. Most professions now see a degree as their minimum entry requirement. To this must be added several years of good experience. A degree, even a good Oxbridge arts degree, should only be considered as an early step in an education process that continues throughout life.

Do we not expect those who represent us to have had a good education and a solid experience of life? Perhaps the job description for a politician should state that candidates under the age of 40 (or even 50) are unlikely to have had sufficient experience.

I for one do not want to be led by a group of processed and packaged e1itists.

Yours faithfully,

JOHN WHITING

Leatherhead, Surrey

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