SLEAZE, sleaze, sleaze. That one word has been dominating the political scene for weeks, with all kinds of questions flying thick and fast about the behind-the-scenes conduct of prime ministers past and present.

But here’s the real question: Does the ordinary person on the street really care about who made the initial payment to redecorate Boris Johnson’s flat? In my view, most people don’t give a stuff. Instead of the Prime Minister spending all his time answering questions about the price of wallpaper, surely we should be concentrating on beating Covid and getting the economy moving.

Equally, are people really bothered about the Prime Minister and James Dyson exchanging text messages about the tax implications of the entrepreneur’s staff making ventilators during the pandemic?

OK, it’s arguably a bit petty for someone of James Dyson’s enormous wealth to have asked the question in the first place but, on balance, Boris handled it in the right way. His priority was to get the ventilators we needed as quickly as possible and, let’s face it, promising to fix any tax issues arising out of work required in a national emergency is hardly the biggest scandal in the world.

Then there’s been the seemingly never-ending fuss over David Cameron lobbying Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, on behalf of finance company, Greensill Capital. The biggest concern we should have there is the fact that we’ve got a former Prime Minister who’s clearly incompetent, because he got himself tangled up with a failing company.

Anyone in business tries to make contact with customers and persuade them to buy their products or services with all the means at their disposal – but you have to have a successful productor service to offer in the first place. Stopping politicians communicating with a wide range of people will do more harm than good, especially when it all ends up in the pantomime of Prime Minister’s question time.

In any case, Cameron’s lobbying didn’t get him anywhere, so let’s just move on.

A far bigger problem with our politicians is that they aren’t up to the job – and it’s abundantly clear that going to Eton isn’t answer. Great leaders are born with the right traits rather than taught them.  We need to find a better way of selecting the people who run our country, so that the most capable amongst us become our leaders. That starts with a review of an education system that’s obsessed with meaningless league tables and forcing children to chase a high grades in GCSE maths when their talents are more suited elsewhere.

For a real scandal, look no further than all those innocent sub-postmasters found guilty of fraud, all because of a faulty accounting system. More than 700 people were wrongly convicted and, so far, 39 former sub-postmasters have had their convictions quashed in the Court of Appeal in one of the UK’s biggest miscarriages of justice.

OK, we have a Government inquiry into what went wrong at the Post Office, but a more important inquiry is needed into how our criminal justice system failed so badly. It might be full of clever, well-educated, highly paid people, but it repeatedly lets down ordinary people.

As with many other long-established institutions – cosy places of power and influence – the judiciary’s main aim is to preserve the status quo that serves its senior figures so well.

• John Elliott MBE is the founder of dehumidifier and washing machine manufacturer Ebac, of Newton Aycliffe