If images of Stetsons were applied to many professions, many professionals might take the hint Photo credit: Shutterstock

THE term ‘cowboy’ conjures up an image of a bungling builder.

Of course the building and allied trades can be attractive to swindlers. But, in my experience, the ethics and competence of most tradesmen is something the professions could learn much from.

Of course there are highly-motivated competent people providing high standards in the professions. But, again based on experience, I wonder where many callings would stand if Stetson rated by their clients.

A building industry term is, ‘you’re only as good as your last job’. In other words, a City and Guilds diploma is merely a statement of what you once were or are capable of, which is quite a different thing.

A lack of enthusiasm or a poor attitude shown towards clients relegates one to cowboy status. This applies not just to those in the building and allied trades but to teachers, the legal, financial, medical services, and bureaucrats.

These and other professions often leave much to be desired. If you think politicians are dishonest reflect that an award-winning British journalist placed the media as being far more corrupt than parliament.

Experience entitles me to judge British schoolteachers on their performance. Sorry, it isn’t good when after 12-years education youth lacks basic writing, reading and numeracy skills.

There are those for whom we must place our trust and it is all too often betrayed. Let us just say that in the broad health services, by which I include dentists, there are widely varying degrees of competence and integrity.

Builders don’t club women down for protesting at what they see as government shortcomings. I have never met a plumber who would dishonestly deprive a person of their liberty as do many jurists.

Occasionally, a roofer will leave something to be desired. This is tolerable but being deprived of one’s entitlement to sound education, liberty or access to objective information is a right and not a privilege according to the whims of self-styled professionals.

Al Capone (1899 – 1947) is one of history’s most notorious gangsters. I believe him when he says, “Capitalism is the legitimate racket of the ruling classes.”

The quality of hotels and the services they provide are exemplary. During and after each visit one is encouraged to comment. The hotel trade does take accountability responsibly and is based on the number of stars awarded. The AA and affiliated bodies use diamonds.

If images of Stetsons were applied to many professions, and if users were encouraged to rate them, many professionals might take the hint, my own included.