The Big Interview: Cllr Paul Carter - great expectations, proud achievements


There are probably few people who were inspired to enter politics because of John Major. Paul Carter CBE (61) leader of Kent CC and chair of the County Councils Network is one of those people.

It was once said that John Major was the only man to have ‘run away from the circus to become an accountant’. The interesting thing about this gag is that most people only see the accountant side of it and his image as the ‘grey man of politics’.

Cllr Paul Carter leader of Kent CC and chair of CCN

They ignore the fact that Mr Major came from very humble beginnings in Brixton, before the area had a Foxtons, let alone saw fit to vandalise it in protest against rising house prices. Mr Major’s father was a music hall performer and he left school at the age of 16. As Mark Twain said: ‘Give a man a reputation for being an early riser and he can sleep ‘til noon’, and of course this cuts both ways.

Mr Carter on the other hand came from a family of doctors and wanted to follow in their footsteps. However he did poorly in one A-level because of illness and so was unable to follow the path of medicine and had to make another way in life.

He may have had advantages and readily accepts he has been ‘enormously lucky’ but he is also someone who deplores an unfair advantage and anything but a meritocracy.

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