Saturday, May 09, 2009

Some Sympathy for MPs

MPs' expenses and the great national sneer |

Being an MP is a gruelling and demanding job: the mountain of dreary but inescapable constituency work requires you to be a social worker and legal adviser without any training or preparation for either role; working hours in the house of commons - although reformed - are still unsocial; the vast majority of the proceedings in the House and its committees are unspeakably tedious; the long separations from family and friends famously tend to lead to marital break-up, alcoholism and worse; the lack of real power over an over-mighty executive saps energy and will; dependence on the favour of the Whips for any chance of advancement to ministerial office is degrading; those who achieve it are generally unfitted for it, since ministerial success requires quite different talents from those needed to win a constituency election; many of your fellow-MPs will always be uncongenial company; you have little or no job security and your ability to hold onto your seat every three or four years depends on circumstances quite beyond your control; you are fairly poorly paid and if you make up for this by claiming all the allowances that parliamentary officials tell you you’re entitled to, you’re likely to be lampooned across the nation’s front pages and television screens as little better than a bank robber or hedge fund manager.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps this is just my lack of career achievement speaking, but I don't think a second salary of £32,000 which one can nearly double in expenses counts as poorly paid myself. I realise that by that standard an awful lot of people are paid too much. I'm fine with that position.