Life after politics

    Spotlight Audio 4/2020
    Colin Beaven vor Großbritannien-Flagge
    Von Colin Beaven

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    Transcript: Life after politics

    What happens to politicians when they leave office? Some get big jobs in industry. Some become lobbyists. Others go back to whatever job they did before. But what about those who just can’t find a new career? Well, in Britain Today, Colin Beaven has some useful suggestions for all those ex-politicians who are still at a loose to be at a loose endin der Luft hängenend.

    I recently got talking to a man who was making deliveries, but not for DHL or UPS — he earned his living delivering one specific product for one specific firm, and in order to do so, he drove down every week from the north to the West Country.

    What was he delivering? He asked me if I knew what AI was. Well, we all do. It stands for “artificialkünstlichartificial intelligence”. It’s the thing of the future, all to do with computers, a chance for techno-wizardGeniewizards to make serious money.

    Not just technical experts: even David Cameron’s taken a job in AI. Cameron was the Conservative prime minister who gave us the Brexit referendum. When he left politics, he joined Afiniti, a Washington-based company that uses data and artificial intelligence to deal with customer complaints.

    David Cameron knows a lot about complaints. As he said in an interview last year, he realizes that some will never forgive him for that referendum.

    His deputyStellvertreter(in)deputy, Nick Clegg, has also left politics. Clegg was leader of Cameron’s coalition partner, the Liberal Democrats, but now works for Facebook, as head of global affairs.

    Facebook lets us show friends and family pictures of cakes we’re about to eat in a cafe, or the curry we’ve been served in a restaurant. It all seems a bit superficialoberflächlichsuper­ficial. Technically, I to supposevermuten, annehmensuppose, it’s “superficial intelligence” ratfher than artificial intelligence.

    But let’s not to splitspaltensplit hairs. The point is that this lucky man in the West CountryGegend in Südwest-England, die die Grafschaften Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset umfasstthe West Country worked in computers. Or did he? I began to have doubts. He said his customers were pig farms. Pigs are intelligent, but I can’t see them surfing the internet.

    Eventually, it clicked; I realized that AI can also stand for artificial inseminationBefruchtung, Besamunginsemination. So, watch out for any vans coming towards you when you’re driving down laneWeg, kleine Straßelanes in the West Country: they’re bringing Cornwall’s next generation of pigs.

    I’m sure David Cameron and Nick Clegg really were planning to land hotshot job (ifml.)Spitzenjobhotshot jobs in technology when they went for their job interviews, not to service the needsdie Bedürfnisse erfüllenservice the needs of the pig industry.

    Having said that, the man I was talking to clearly enjoyed his job. He had a proper contract, with conditions very different from those so many delivery drivers have to accept: ridiculously long hours, no sick payLohnfortzahlung im Krankheitsfallsick pay, no holiday pay — the harshstreng, rauharsh characteristics of today’s gig economyauf Freiberuflern basierendes Wirtschaftsmodellgig economy.

    Like ex-leaders of the coalition government we had from 2010 to 2015, he’s been lucky. I just hope these careers are a model for the future. No one wants to find a former prime minister on their doorstep delivering armfuls of parcelPäckchenparcels from Amazon. We’d never get over the shock of being asked by Theresa May, Gordon Brown or Tony Blair to sign the little machine that tracks what they’ve delivered. For everyone’s sake, give them all jobs in AI. As to which kind of AI is the better option, that’s really not for me to say.

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