Status anxiety

If you think Britain’s corrupt now, watch what happens if we ban second jobs for MPs

We’re in danger of turning Parliament back into a rich man’s pastime

28 February 2015

9:00 AM

28 February 2015

9:00 AM

Last year, I had an exchange with Hugo Rifkind on Twitter in which I bet him dinner at Clarke’s that his father would stand down before the next election. My reasoning was that, at the age of 68, his dad wouldn’t want to serve another five years in the Commons and would be happier in the Lords. I hadn’t anticipated he would depart as a result of a cash-for-access scandal.

I’ve always rather fancied running in Kensington myself. Rifkind has a majority of 8,616, which makes it a safe seat, and it’s only a 15-minute cycle ride from my house. But I’m not going to throw my hat into the ring because I still have numerous responsibilities in connection with the three schools I’ve helped set up. Indeed, my group is consulting about setting up a fourth in Kensington. I don’t think I’d be able to discharge those responsibilities and do a good job as a Member of Parliament.

I also find that the current censoriousness over MPs earning a bit of extra money is off-putting. Ed Miliband has already said that he intends to ban them from taking second jobs if Labour wins in May, and he may well succeed in bouncing David Cameron into making a similar commitment. It’s all very well for them to get up on their high horses — as leader of the opposition, Miliband is paid £132,387, while Cameron’s salary is £142,500 — but what about those poor backbenchers earning £67,060?


Rifkind expressed this badly when he said that, as a professional, he was ‘entitled’ to a standard of living that an MP’s basic salary couldn’t provide, but I agree with his point. If we expect men of Rifkind’s calibre to serve in the House of Commons it’s unrealistic to insist that they earn no more than £67,000. If Rifkind had eschewed the opportunity to run for Parliament in 1974 and pursued a full-time career in the law, he’d be earning hundreds of thousands of pounds a year. He’d also have a much fatter pension. The truth is, he’s sacrificed a great deal in order to be an MP, even with the odd consultancy or two.

I know plenty of good MPs who are planning to stand down, either in May or at the end of the next Parliament, because they’re worried about not being able to earn enough money to support themselves and their families in the degree of comfort they’d like. And that’s with the current rules in place. If we make it harder for MPs to supplement their incomes, we’ll see an exodus in 2020. Politics will once again become a rich man’s game, as it was before MPs first started to be paid in 1911.

Defenders of tightening up the rules argue that it will be a good thing if adventurers interested in earning more than £67,000 are put off, because people should want to be MPs out of a sense of public duty. But do we really want to be represented by a bunch of self-denying prigs? The best MPs tend to be motivated by a mixture of things — a lust for glory as well as a sense of patriotism, a yearning for recognition and a desire to serve. Think of Winston Churchill. Would he have remained an MP long enough to save western civilisation if he’d been told from the outset that he couldn’t write any books or newspaper articles? Doubtful.

The other danger of imposing an outright ban on MPs’ extracurricular activities is that they’ll figure out dishonest ways of earning money. According to World Audit, the not-for-profit that carries out an annual corruption survey of 150 nation states, Britain is the 12th least corrupt country in the world. I wonder how long that would remain true if we made it illegal for MPs to take second jobs? Some will argue that plenty of MPs are already up to their necks in it and they’ll point to Malcolm Rifkind and Jack Straw as examples. But if you think what they’ve been doing is sleazy, take a look at France’s politicians. Next to them, Rifkind and Straw are choirboys.

As I said earlier, all this sanctimony would be acceptable if it were to be accompanied by a proposal to double MPs’ wages, but it isn’t and nor is it likely to be. The public just wouldn’t wear it. So let’s just leave things as they are. Even with cash for access, we’re still the 12th least corrupt country in the world and that’s good enough.

Toby Young is associate editor of The Spectator.

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Show comments
  • modeluprightcitizen

    Stop justifying greed. In most walks of life if people don’t like the wage then they’re free to get another job if they don’t like it.

    If they don’t like the full-time wage rate, then it’s hard luck. Let’s face it, there’s lots of other perks that they get when they leave parliament, the directorships, the advisory roles, etc.

    I say give them even less. Then it’ll sort out those who are using the job as a vehicle for their own self-interest and those who are genuine.

    If they can’t live on £67 grand, then how can the other 50 million people who are on considerably less than this.

    Rifkind is on more than he’s actually worth.

    All this talk about getting the ‘right’ candidates for the job is baloney. It’s not as if Rifkind is anything other than a career politician, one of the dross among many. He hasn’t exactly set the world alight in the time he’s been there.

    Rifkind’s just got an over-inflated sense of self-worth (not apparent by anything he’s ever done in the real world), and people like Toby Young just encourage people like him even more.

    Rifkind’s out of touch with real people, and so is Young. They’re all bird’s of the feather, thinking they’re really unique when all they are is mediocrity with a public school background.

    • Albert Leslie James HALL

      MODEL UPRIGHT CITIZEN. So become an MP. £67,000 PA is NOT a mighty salary. MP’s salary is loosely based on that of a Principal Secretary in the Civil Service as is their pension. Let look at those who get as much or more than an MP. GP’s, Head teachers and school bursars, footballers (who’s responsibility is no more than kicking a pigs bladder about) luvvies of all description, Senior Police and Service Officers (you can look up their pay scales on ”google”) Senior and tier one Local Government Officers, quite junior administrators and managers in private companies, one tenth of all employees in the NHS. ALL my kids went to local comps, all got degree level education and all have an income greater, by far, than an MP. AND that in spite of me being a single and MALE parent in a time when there was NO support at all for single male parents other than Child Allownce and Family Income Support that I drew for a yeat whilst I went back to school and re-trained as a Meat Inspector. Previous to that I was in the RAF as a SGT technician, A farm labourer, butcher, poulterer, herdsman, shop manager. So get real and forget the politics of envy and greed it bwill get you nowhere!! The poor, disaffected, idle, envious and incompetent are always with us. Education is the only way out and it is there for theasking as most IMMIGRANTS already know. Do not be concerned about the Eastern Euro’s begging but be very concerned about the immigrants who have the brains, aptitude, ambition and abilities to take advantage of our education and leave you on the dump of unskilled labour- when you can find it that is!!

      • Brazen

        There was a list in one of the newspapers the other day giving an MP’s salary to other’s comparison, have tried to find it but can’t. However from memory the MP’s were by no means below the centre of the list and many on the list had no recourse to the several perks that MP’s enjoy which make the total pckage far, far greater than £67k. It has nothing to do with the politics of envy, rather that those that run the country do so in an ethical way and set an example to the rest of us ‘plebs’.

        I suggest you read the item below.

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2864800/MPs-pay-3-8m-family-50-higher-2010-General-Election-quarter-employing-relative.html

      • Jean

        Like many people, I am extremely hard-working and well educated. I have found from experience that the only way to climb to the top of the heap financially is to be either very fortunate or to drop ones principals. The first I am still waiting for while I continue to gather qualifications and work myself to any early grave, the second I am not prepared to do. Therefore I admire principled people who have been fortunate, but look down on those who have got on by unethical means

      • GraveDave

        The poor, disaffected, idle, envious and incompetent are always with us.

        As is the right wing, cliche spouting, ranter. And why use words like incompetent when really you mean useless Plenty of those in Parliament too, and many no doubt who will sound like you once they get going.

        Do not be concerned about the Eastern Euro’s begging but be very concerned about the immigrants who have the brains, aptitude, ambition and abilities to take advantage of our education and leave you on the dump of unskilled labour-

        Well, we all know where you’re coming from don’t we ?

        Smarmy ass.. .

        • Albert Leslie James HALL

          GRAVE DAVE. And we know where you coming from as well.!! Why don’t yopu try to put forward some kind of logical reply instead resorting to insult.?? It does your case no good whatsoever and REINFORCES MINE. There are pretty much useless people in all walks of life so why should we expect any less from a small minority of MP’s who are, after all. a reflection on thoise that vote for them.

          In the meantime could you please explain what you mean by ”we all know where I’m coming from”. I assure you that I had no kind of birth advantage being the son of a farm labourer. I spent time in the RAF (from the age of sixteen to thirty as a Sgt Aircraft Tech. then a farm labourer, herdsman, poultrymman. butcher and finally as civil service Meat Inspector none of which was highly paid. I was a single (male ) parent to two and sometimes three kids from the sgae of 3, 8 and 9 all of whom went to a local comp and all of whom obtained degree level and relevant educational qualifications (one served a an Officer in the RAF) and all of whom have ended up in positions that pay much more than the salary of an MP. So, perhaps then, when I hear the envious rantings of people like you appear to be is it any wonder that I take the time to put pen to paper and vent an opinion. Instead of ust hurling insults, take a break and give me few logical and thpugght pout reasons why I should alter my opinions. After all an OPINION is just that an OPINION and all opinions of intelligent people are subject to modification in the light of educated evidence. SO COME ON now give me a reason to change my mind.!!

          • Albert Leslie James HALL

            GRAVE DAVE> There yer go!! Making assumptions that I am some kind of right wing barsteward. Nothing so simple I’m afraid though I may be a pragmatist. MP’s are not employed by Parliament but are APPOINTEES by open selection and they are NOT actually political appointees (only ministers are political appointees) either but are meant to represent ALL the population of a constituency and are elected on a majority vote. Those who vote for them vote for them because they espouse the points of view and aims of the MP elect and NOT the other way around. MP’s are most certainly NOT delegates even if most people think they are. All constituent patries have the right to de-select any MP given sufficient reason and invoke a by-election so their very existence is somewhat dependent on their behaviour. MP’s on the back benches are not even part of goverment!!

          • Mark

            Of which your idea of a logical argument is, my offspring are doing well so it means corruption is fine. Great logic.

          • Albert Leslie James HALL

            MARK. Where have I said that any level of corruption is OK ?? No level of corruption is OK but it does, has and always will exist in every country and in every civilisation that has ever been and ever will be but. To think any differently, and that it can be completely cured, is to live in cloud cuckoo land. So I suggest you not only take a longer and better look at my entry, get real and stop your attitude of envy. I most certainly do not argue that because my kids have done well that corruption is in any way OK either and you insult me to suggest that I do!!
            I’m not even arguing a case but I am EXPRESSING an opinion based on personal experience and how can opinions based on personal experience be argued with?? Don’t bother to correct me again. You are so predjudiced I do not intend to enter any kind of further correspondence on this particular matter. However if you could present some opinion based on these issues instead of your rather ridiculous assumptions and predjuduces I might, just might, change my mind!!
            MInd you I do seem to have stirred up a hornets nest of discussion and that can only be good!!

          • Mark

            I have nothing to be envious of a politician salary about. I am an highly educated and equally highly rewarded individual. What I do know is the difference between right and wrong and the EXPRESSION of any misdemeanour from the wealthy or politicians is simply the politics of envy has to be honest been warn out. Standards have slipped and continue to slip due to such one liner deflection as that and its so transparent now that you cant surely say that without half a smile on your face. Just because corruption has always existed is no logic to saying it should not be tracked down and rooted out with heavy consequences should it be found. I’ve listened to all kinds of feeble arguments over the years for fiddling such as Blunket where he even tried to justify his fiddling by arguing he didn’t know the difference between a spouse and a knock off. I don’t like politicians treating me like an idiot be it Labour or Tory and I wont stand or try to defend it in any way shape or form. As for myself being prejudice, just try reading your own contributions objectively and maybe you will think differently. There is no politics of envy its simply the difference between right and wrong full stop.

      • Brian Hinchcliffe

        Your kids have done well. What’s their secret?

        • Albert Leslie James HALL

          Thank’s. No secrert but as a single parent dad there were descisions to be made and rules to make,.
          (No 1) Never ever give a child responsibility it cannot handle.
          (No 2) make clear to a child that if they make a desision they know the likely repercussions.
          (No 3) Never make rules they cannot keep. Few and strictly enforced.
          (No 4) Cook them wholesome food , takeaways are an earned treat, with no menus. They all, including you, eat the same thing at the same table. If they do not like it bread and cheese is available.
          (No 5) Make sure they KNOW that per pressure is NOT an EXCUSE and PERSONAL responsibility cannot be avoided. (No 6) No child can have an opinion until they have the knowlege required. No political lectures from ten year olds. No asking members of the local kindergarten opinions about ”fracking”, nuclear power or the War in Syria and NO carrying them off on ”protest marches. Only the ignorant uneducated middle classes think their children are political, educational, medical and economic geniuses.

          I could go on but my overall advice boils down to some fair but judicial ”Arse KIcking” I suppose. Or that and person responsibility. Who was it who said ”that true freedom is the in the hands of the self disciplined”

          • Brian Hinchcliffe

            I couldn’t agree more. Your advice used to be given in Domestic Science lessons to boys and girls alike It was called “parenting” and “child care” .Thatcher’s national curriculum put a stop to that and turned it into food technology. As a result many people have no home and family skills, and the outcomes are there for all to see.

          • Albert Leslie James HALL

            You cannot keep blaming Thatcher for all of societies ills. This discussion is about PARENTAL CONTROL and that did NOT change with Thatcher of schools. MY kids grew up during the Thatcher Era after all. Schools tried to deliver what most parents purported to want and move against any kind of scholastic disipline that teachers might be inclined to apply. If I had to make a further comment on the above it is this. I went to my kids Local Comp and made it plain that I would nOT TOLERATE unfair or discriminatory treatment of my kids without explainations being forthcoming. If my kids transgressed over and above what could be reasonably expected of any kid I can assure you that punishment from me was far more Draconian than the school would or could apply short of the real physical. I admit I did apply physicallity on about two occasions but only as a means of showing them what it was really like and never enough to be in any way damaging. I remember marching my fifteen year old son to EVERY house in the ”close” to apologise for making a noise with a motorbike at eleven o’clock one Saturday night. He was bitter because he was the only one of five that had to do it. Guess which boy the neighborours now remember with a certain fondness

          • Brian Hinchcliffe

            You sound like the ideal parent. Your attitude to unfair and discriminatory treatment at school is absolutely right. It must be a priority in all schools. Often, kids prefer to keep school & home apart and parents sometimes get just the edited highlights. A good school should be your closest partner and collaborator in bringing up your kids and helping them get what you want for them. Your anecdote about the motorbike is an excellent illustration of the need to link actions and consequences.
            I have to broadly disagree about Thatcher. Her government tightened up the curriculum and made it more uniform in state schools, but for reasons never explained, the national curriculum was disapplied in the private sector.. The principal aim however was to suppress “peace studies”, economic geography, political history and to make it a legal requirement for a daily act of worship. (How can you order anybody to worship?) Along with that, the NC removed child care and basic cooking skills and nutrition. Look at where we are now! Thatcher’s personal issues with Scargill led to the destruction of the fabric of huge swathes of the UK, the loss of 300 years’ worth of energy and the total loss of fossil fuel technology. Most mining communities have not fully recovered yet. Some, like Horden continue to bleed to death. Remember she was the Queen’s First Minister, she had a duty of care for the whole of the realm and ended up doing more damage than the Luftwaffe.
            ….Sorry, you just got me started…

      • Dodgy Geezer

        …footballers (who’s responsibility is no more than kicking a pigs bladder about)…

        Um. The responsibility of a Tottenham striker is to get the ball in the back of the Arsenal net, while defeating the best defense that Arsenal can put up.

        If you think that’s easy, perhaps you could suggest a cheaper person than Harry Kane..?

      • modeluprightcitizen

        I’ve got a first class degree and a doctorate, so you’re farting into the wind mate. I’ve also ran several businesses, worked as a university lecture, and have been published.

        I live comfortably on half as much as MP’s are on. If they can’t live on twice as much as me then they’re clearly not capable of budgeting for themselves, let alone on behalf of the country.

        So I’m not envious at all. They’re just on too much. If I were to stand as an MP £67,000 would be more than enough with all the other hidden perks you conveniently ignore.

    • JosephJohn

      Can you not spell Jack or Straw

    • Ooh!MePurse!

      111 upvotes for stupidity. Ukip wine and cheese party then?

  • modeluprightcitizen

    Of Rifkind’s calibre? Jees, you’re out of touch mate. Most people think he’s a bumbling buffoon. We know you’re mates with his son, but this is desperate stuff.

    If people can’t live on the 67 grand then they’re clearly no good a managing their income and shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the nation’s purse strings.

    • JosephJohn

      Your comments are out of context,
      Would you be happy for Ed the Geek’s salary to be cut by £67 grand from the
      £132.000, he’s on now. not to mention his dubious tax affairs

      • Albert Leslie James HALL

        JOSEPHJOHN> And what is Wayne Rooney and the like on ?? And who has the greater responsibility?? He who’s only responsibility is to kick a bleddy pig’s bladder full of hot air and earns MORE THAN £132,000 A WEEK OR he who has the affairs and responsibilities of state to consider and earns the same in a year??

    • EUROJESUS

      The issue not discussed here is that the measily £67k common MPs are paid will not allow them to subsist in the centralist capital Hullhole they created. The obvious response to this and other issues in lopsided England is simple.

      1. Record inflation accurately.
      2. Do not exclude house price growth from that inflation figure.
      3. Do not raise MPs pay above the line of inflation.
      4. Decentralise, Jesus darn it.

      • Albert Leslie James HALL

        MP’s DO NOT set their own salary and MP’s salaries seem to be set at three, or four yearly intervals. I would have thought that there may be more efficient b ways of doing it. MP salaries and pension schemes are broadly based on those of a Civil Service Principle Secretary I believe, or were.

  • A_Libertarian_Rebel

    Sorry, Toby, but you’re wrong on this one. You seem to be conflating legitimate extra-Parliamentary income with quasi-corruption. There is a difference.

    If Rifkind’s duties as a constituency MP can be carried out to his electors’ satisfaction in a mere 10% of his available time, well, good for him. They’re his boss, after all – not Parliament, not the State, both of whom merely pay him, as the agents of his voting public – and if they’re happy with only 10% of his time, that’s their choice.

    That leaves him perfectly free, should he wish, to resume practice at the Bar, as a QC, and to make for himself the kind of income he claims to have foregone. It leaves him free, as another example, to pursue journalism, if he wishes.

    But instead, he chose to peddle the influence and contacts, which arose almost exclusively out of his already-remunerated public duties, privately, for cash. And, moreover, to do so in such an inept and naive fashion as to be breathtaking.

    It isn’t a case of barring MPs from “second jobs” or ancillary income, despite what some may claim – it’s a case of preventing the venal exploitation of public knowledge for private gain, and in such a way as to create very real conflict of interest and potentially compromise ostensible integrity.

    That’s not far off corruption, or misconduct in public office, whatever “the rules” say. It’s in a very different league indeed to legitimately using free time to generate supplementary income.

    • Philip Hodkinson

      In any other industry, if you could complete your work in 10% of the time, 90% of the workforce would be made redundant.

    • Nicholas K

      Agreed. Outside jobs should be jobs outside politics. That is the only kind of second job for an MP that can be justified as enabling MPs to retain some connection with the real world they are supposed to be serving. The Westminster Village is not the real world.

  • Hamburger

    Is he also going to ban working partners? It would be logical, if stupid.

  • marklu

    67k? A good screw with travel and housing allowances thrown in. Anyone who can’t see that is not the calibre of person I want legislating on my behalf.

    New school in Kensington eh? Another feeder school. Smart move Toby, fix the feeders and you fix the intake (to quote our mutual friend Tubby)!

  • vikram Iengar

    This fool ia a career politician, he only comes out of the wood-work when he has a self-serving axe to grind? Otherwise he is just a body without a cause….!

  • Jackie Dawson

    Rifkind and Straw intentionally used the connections they made within the Government positions to feather their own nests. This is not new, a lot of the MPS have second jobs, are moving into positions in these second jobs after they have resigned. Policies like housing benefit, is passed to MPS friends who have hundreds of rented accommodation, so it makes sense not to build the houses needed for the electorate. NHS privatisation, a lot of friends and family have there hands in this pie too, so it makes sense Westminster is pushing for this quietly. People need to wake up to how much of OUR money is being passed to their family and friends through these processes. 1% is gaining more and more and 99% is sleeping…WAKE UP GUYS

    • Albert Leslie James HALL

      JACKIE DAWSON. What is your argument against ”privatisation” of parts of the NHS as long as treatmnent is free at the point of treatment. I do not know where you live but I live near Eastbourne in Sussex. In the last four or five years I, or family, have recieved treatment at several Hospitals on the NHS in a Private (BUPA) hospital, Private contracted (the HORDER CENTRE FOR ARTHRITIS) and NHS Eastbourne (in a ”private” ward) and at no time was I asked for any kind of payment. AND by the way most ”private health” providers including the largest in the UK, BUPA and THE HORDER CENTRE and the BENENDEN TRUST, ( once known as the Civil Service and Post Office Sanitorium Society) to which I belong and by using have saved the NHS some several thousands of pounds, are actually Charities and therefore DO NO MAKE A PROFIT. If you get the chance to take a tour of the HORDER CENTRE do so, talk to the NHS patients there who get EXACTLY the same attention and treatment as privately funded patients by the way and see what they think. ALL of those countries of the EU that we sometimes envy for their medical arrangements have a public/private aspect to treatments. Like a lot of people you may have been taken in by NHS staff ”self interest groups”. That particular rot set in when every bleddy newspaper started calling every bleddy nurse an Angel, every administrator a devil worshipper and every consultant a gready monster or worse. I tell you this – no amount of money will improve skills and the often lacking, and I speak from a deal of experience, professionalism in the NHS on this especially at the lower levels on the wards and at the ”coalface”.

  • little islander

    Speccie ‘Self-Denying Prig’ of the Year Award to the MP on $67k a year plus lowest sum of housing benefit and expense claims and other incomes.

  • bob

    why aren’t jo public paid £5,000 a day….we are demonised they are given obe mbe and abc…these greedy parasites were recently given a £10,000 pay rise and they condemn us……we need a huge change on how pm,s work and also what they get paid, there are too many career politicians there simply to make money …we are the losers and yet we pay their wages

    • Albert Leslie James HALL

      BOB. Because you’re not bleddy worth it. !! Believe it or not most people either earn their salaries or are out on their ears or pushed aside let alone having the skills and aptitude to get there in the first place. Our UK sink estates are full of kids who have been brought up to have no ambitions, by parents who think that education is ”sumfink uvver posh people ‘av’. My Eldest Daugghter holds aposition of considerable responsibility in a large organisation and it’s unbelievably difficult to get British people to re-train for greater responsibility especially if they have to contribute them selves (usually in terms of time or re-inbursement). Almost all positive responses are from non-native employees, of which she controls many, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Polish, Spanish, German etc. They are not here for the ”benefit culture”, but because they have ambitions an, in spite of popular perception, we do have a really good in and out of work training tradition especially in management and HR skills.

    • Albert Leslie James HALL

      BOB. With your obvious insider knowlege you know what ”pm,s” (or is it PM’s) should be doing so how’s about enlightening the rest of us!! Criticism is easy if you can’t give or even suggest a solution but rely on vague soundbites. So how much of an MP’s wages do you pay?? And what salary do you suggest would be sufficient remuneration to attract the right kind of person considering that our UK MP’s are amongst the worst remunerated in the developed world (ITALY for instance pays MP’s over E300,000 EURO’s a year) I do agree that there are too many career MP’s in all parties but those career MP’s very often are in possession of considerable private incomes of one means or another. The old trades Unions (they may well still do for all I know) paid additional large salaries to many appointee Socialist MP’s for example which is how people like Mannie Shinwell and the Welsh Mafia became millionaires. Even Karl Marks was supported by his multimillionaire bestest friend Engels and he didn’t go short of a fillet steak and champagne or several I can tell you. !!

  • helmckie mcdonald

    Britain lost its identity & got corrupt when the government sold its soul to the E.U adding insult to injury by doing cut backs in this country however giving 7% of its annual turn over to foreign aid (which is used for everything but aid) + pumping billions of pounds into the E.U whilst losing controls of our borders,law & rights is corruption beyond compare

    • Albert Leslie James HALL

      HELMCKIE MACDONALD> Idiot!! By far the vast majoptity come to the UK not only to look for work but to actually find it!! How is that so when on the one hand there is the ”unemployment screams from the headlines when more than 200,000 immigrants found work here LAST YEAR ALONE. They DO not work for peanuts they work for the same salaries as evrybody else and between 95 and 98 percent pay their taxes and NI like everybody else. In fact an immigrant, on average is over fifty percent LESS LIKELY (at about 3.2%) to draw Social Payments than the native population. Let’s face it MOST of the unemployed, and certainly those who have been unemloyed for over a year are pretty much unemployable. The same goes for most teenagers looking for employment. They either have irrelevant or NO qualifications, over high expectations, do not have the disciplines or even basic education and are only really suited for those unskilled jobs that are becoming increasingly rare and are being taken by thiose who are prepared to graft.

      • Philip Hodkinson

        I agree with a lot of what you say, but many willing and skilled working people have been unemployed over a year because they do not want to move to London. Lots of the country is still in recession, a situation caused and exacerbated by out of touch parliamentarians.

      • GraveDave

        They dont all just come over here and look for work. Many in fact are taken on directly from their homelands by the company and gang leaders, some of whom with their foot in the door already.
        And try turning off the caps, we’re not all as simple minded as you seem to think we are.

      • helmckie mcdonald

        IT IS FUNNY HOW THESE POOR NEEDY E.U CITIZENS COME TO THE U.K FOR WORK however end up claiming benefits but if they were that poor in the first place how come they can afford the package to get over here OH YEAH YOUR FAVORITE FRIENDLY E.U who has a policy of we will fund you to get a one way ticket to the U.K then you can get every benefit there own citizens can get (that is how THE HOOK got removed from France & ended up in the U.K to start with) NOW THAT IS CORRUPTION at its best

        • Albert Leslie James HALL

          Once again you are confusing apples with oranges. I did NOT say that some immigrants come for the benefits BUT I do say they are a small minority. By the away tyhere are apparently MORE Brits claiming benefits in Germany, Holland and France than t’other way round. What’s the HOOK by the way?? If it’s who I believe you mean he came from Egypt and had been in the UK long enough to obtain citizenship. LIke most IMAMS, from everywhere and anywhere, in the UK he was, and so are most of the others, on benefits and if that’s you particular itch I agree with you.!! IMAMS are supposed to be supported by their congregations as are Rabbis and so they should be. As the Official Church of England Bishops etc. are supported by their diosese, parishes and income from historic holdings as well as a modicum of government grants and charitable tax relief etc.

    • Brian Mulcahy

      Another UKIP fantasist – overseas aid is 0.7% of the government budget, not 7% of ‘annual turnover’ (whatever ‘annual turnover’ might mean). Typically fact free and alarmist. How do we even start to talk to people like you who dont inhabit the same reality as the rest of us, and who think that facts are the work of the devil?

      • Albert Leslie James HALL

        BRIAN MULCAHY> How right good comment. Was it not Winston Churchill who said ”if you want an illustration of the weakness of democracy just have a prolonged conversation with the average voter” We live in a age of the single issue politics and an astonishing ignorance of the real issues at hand I’m afraid.

  • helmckie mcdonald

    The real question is can you the working class claim extra back on expenses for electric,gas,clothing,council rates for a second home,mortgage payments for a second home,food & travelling whilst doing a part time job as a parliamentary member when the same person is getting more from another job (that is what makes the Westminster job part time instant of his/her main job) THE ANSWER IS NO so if that is not milking your own nest then CORRUPTION lives in PARLIAMENT

    • Albert Leslie James HALL

      HELMMCKIE MCDONALD> In fact many employers do just what you suggest including the Police and the Armed Services. Most of the Civil Service and Local Authorities and major employers have some kind of compensation schemes for those working out of area, for transport, car allowances, meal allowances and incidental cost of living and accomodation expenses. Some even purchase you house at market evaluation and give you the cash up front so you can move if you have sufficient value to the company!! If a company does so and you decline you are not likely to get a redundancy package either!!

      • helmckie mcdonald

        yes which are all taxed against that employee that are not buck free expenses rebates like Westminster claim back many British citizens skimp & scrape just to survive while those in parliament are getting rebates back on second properties & there overheads

        • Albert Leslie James HALL

          No !! They are not all taxed. For instance house transfer payments are not taxed and neither are meals allowances below a centrally agreed point, Nor are travel allownaces except for a tax on any ”profit ” made over and above agreed limits. Medical benefites are taxed as ”benefits in kind” as they are for some MP’s and some Local Authority employees. Civil Servants do not get medical benefits as such but do get good sick pay arrangements.

  • กระต่าย บุณมากtwat

    men of his calibre? THEIF AND LIAR.

  • Craig Kelly

    What a load of rubbish,

  • ernie wilson

    In response to Toby Young’s article on cash for MP’s. It is about time Parliament and The House of Commons was brought into the 21st Century.

    MP’s are there to serve the people who elected them, not for self advancement.

    My reform of Parliament goes something like this. Anyone elected in the Greater London Area no subsidies whatsoever, because they can travel to Parliament via Oyster Card and live on what they get paid for being an MP.

    Other MP’s will live in Accommodation provided by the taxpayer, similar to Student Hall of Residences.

    Parliament will operate 9 – 5 Monday to Thursday for 48 weeks of the year. Friday will be for constituency work.

    Party conferences will take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and will not be financed by the taxpayer. ALL donations received by any political party will be entered into a register and made public.

    MP’s, will get 4 weeks holiday a year, + Bank Holidays, the same as the people who elected them.

    MP’s failing to turn up at House of Commons (unless they can prove they are unwell) will not get paid – NO SHOW NO DOUGH!!

    While elected as an MP No outside job whatsoever!! They have been elected to serve the constituency and constituents – NOT THEIR SELF ADVANCEMENT.

    • Rob

      I agree with almost everything you say, except rather than Greater London I would say “within a 2 hour commute of Westminster”. I would allow backbench MPs (not Ministers) who have entered politics from other walks of life (doctors, solicitors, truck drivers or whatever) to earn up to 10% of the MP salary in their previous field of employment, provided they spend an equivalent of no more than 10% of their parliamentary time doing so. In this way, at least backbenchers retain some semblance of a connection with the real world even if ministers do not. Non-executive directorships would also be permitted, but consultancies and executive directorships would be completely prohibited. All ownership of shares should be declared and registered publicly, and trading in those shares should be frozen during an MPs term in office. Any transfer/sale of shares to family members from the time of a candidates selection until their election should also be declared and registered (such records to be destroyed for all defeated candidates.

      All offices and supplies should be provided by the taxpayer and there should be NO expense accounts. MPs should be issued with a pre-paid card, redeemable in specified outlets for a specified range of goods/services, to cover other needs arising from their parliamentary duties (in much the same way that an engineer in a factory might be given a “tool allowance” each year), and once it’s gone – it’s gone till next month.

      Parliamentary bars should be closed; if refreshment is needed, an outlet dispensing tea/coffee etc rather than alcohol is more suitable (Westminster is a WORKPLACE not a “Gentleman’s” club). Similarly, Parliamentary restaurants should bear a greater resemblance to workplace eating facilities than to a 5-star establishment and should only serve meals which are healthy, nutritious and value for money (they do not need to be extravagant “haute cuisine”) and should be available to MPs free of charge if they wish to partake. If they choose to dine elsewhere, they should pay out of their own pocket.

  • David

    his a greedy man got what he deserved !

  • Michael Lynch

    Nobody thinks the British people are corrupt, We just have a few Stinking parasites as MPs. We must have the power of Recall, We elect these Filth, It Must be Us who get rid of them..

  • jack flash

    I don’t think anyone would deny MPs a ‘second job’ it is more a case of using abusing their public position/privileged information for personal gain.

  • Philski2000

    Surely the answer is to raise MPs’ salaries significantly – say, £200,000, perhaps more. It will help to reduce corruption (not eliminate, sadly) as MPs will be less motivated by extra cash and more fearful of losing their jobs. In the grand scheme of things, this increase would be a drop in the ocean; they should in return be required to treat the job as full-time.

    Furthermore, penalties for corruption, etc., should carry a mandatory prison sentence, with clear boundaries and parameters set for such offences.

  • Robert Lee

    pigs in troughs come,s to mind

  • Brazen

    What a load of excrement this article is, an MP’s income doesn’t stop at £67k. They can ’employ’ members of their family, get full travel allowances, get cash to buy a house which they can sell at a profit and keep the dosh, and don’t forget the £70 bottles of wine and food which they can also claim for, etc, etc, all at the taxpayers expense. The idiot writing this article is, like the rest of the ‘ruling elite’, totally out of touch with us plebs, many of whom have to live on far, far less than £67k and receive no subsidised living expenses. Young, I suggest you go out in the real world and mix with some of us ‘plebs’, rather than your Eton educated mates. What you find may just surprise you!

  • 1weeman

    Jacques Fresco witnessed corruption in the 30’s great depression. He is now 96 and recently said, nobody has been able to deal with the problem to date. It therefore must be built into our human genetics.

  • John

    The last thing we want is career MPs who leave university and move into politics. They will have no knowledge of working or how to run a company. Recipe for disaster and endless taxation withou consequences.
    MPs should be banned from pocketing cash from any other company, or job/doctor etc, than the business they operate before they became an MP.

  • Tony Amendola

    Simple solution to all of this.
    Pay ALL politicians the average wage and then those that do come into this as a career will a good incentive in raising everyone`s living standards. Those that cant accept the salary shouldnt be public servants anyway as they are clearly not in the right mind set to serve anything other than themselves.

  • Rob G

    You say it will become a ‘rich man’s game’ I say it will stop people doing it just for the money and get people who will actually be interested in the good of the country and actually have some integrity.
    MPs should be doing it for the love of the job, like I gave up my professional career to care for my disabled mother, MPs should do it because that’s what they want to do and learn to live within their means!
    They spend all day shouting that the country is living beyond it’s means and then they stamp their feet and go ‘I want more money’ – bloody hypercrits!

  • Albert Leslie James HALL

    Just a thought. ALL my kids went to local comps. And all my kids earn a lot more than a MP’s salary AND they all get expenses connected with business like mileage, and tax deductable allowances for employing others, for offices and company car schemes etc. even down to a bicycle allowance for cycling to work!! They ALL also take advantage of TAX AVOIDANCE schemes like ISAs and Pension PLans and contributing into trust funds for their own kids, ALL of which is perfectly legal and lawful. None of them has off shore accounts and have been brought up to pay their dues to society including their TAXES. EVERY person who has an ISA or a PENSION PLAN of any sort or has set up any kind of trust fund or is contributing to charity either in life or in death by making a charity a beneficiary is using a TAX AVOIDANCE Scheme. All perfectly legal and encouraged by the goverment. So if any out there wish to stop TAX avoidance the law must be changed. Non-payment of due tax by devious means is quite another thing!! It also has to be said that, compared to, say the USA , our tax laws are so complex that there will always be loopholes to find for the skilled accountant to find. It also means that MORE, far more, are employed by our Tax Authorities to cover all the bases than in the USA with ten, even more, taxes to collect

    • Mark

      Good for you and yours, you must be proud. So how does that make the CORRUPTION we have seen from these MP right? How does it make it right that he should earn £67,000 by his own admission for doing very little for US. I bet your family have had to work hard for what they have got. By the way, I also earn more than an MP but I don’t think it makes what I have seen right. Your values seem a bit mixed up that because your family is earning good money that means corruption and idleness is right in the elite of society.

    • GraveDave

      Show us proof then of this perfect family you shaped and created?

  • Philip

    I couldn’t agree more. At last someone who has the balls to articulate the reality.
    Socialism at its very best – drag everything down to the lowest (and dependent) level

  • Grumpier Old Woman

    What does Young mean by ‘figure out’ dishonest ways of earning money. Surely MPs figured that out long ago, hence Rifkind’s resignation.

  • ppw

    poor thieving bast–ds

  • ppw

    they don,t have to be mp’s , they ask us if they can ?

  • Fred

    We lost a good politician for no good reason.

  • JosephJohn

    If a second job does not interfere or is a determent or compromise their Duties as a MP then where is the problem if these earnings are declared, Thousand’s of private sector worker’s have more that one job, but thousands of public sector workers have a job but don’t work, you know what I mean Harry.

  • Andy

    I really like the system they have in Singapore. Elected government leaders there are some of the highest paid in the world. They are expected to be totally dedicated to the people and the country with no other business interests at all! If they are caught in any kind of un-ethical dealings or scandal not only are they sacked but they could also end up in jail! Politicians should be our best and brightest people and should be paid accordingly but in return they must be totally dedicated to the country and the people!

  • Philip Hodkinson

    What do you mean “in danger of” It’s been a rich mans pastime since it’s inception.
    Today, try checking out the first two rows of both government and Opposition benches and count the millionaires. The London parliament (because thats all it represents) is finacially, above the consequences of their legislation. It’s time it was scrapped and smaller regional parliaments developed, to better SERVE the people, rather than themselves. Let’s face it, it’s the highest paid job you can get, that requires no qualifications.
    With that in mind, it would be a good idea to ban anyone from becoming “career” MP’s, by insisting that all candidates have at least 10 years experience of working in the real world.

  • britishinjustice

    Candidates standing for the job of MP do so freely and without cohesion in full knowledge of the salary on offer. In their election campaigns they talk about what they will do for their would be constituents to enhance their standard of living and address important issues worldwide. They certainly do not spout about the huge sums of money they intend to make in consultancy work to big corporations because they know full well that if they did, they would not become MP’s. This is called dishonesty and in any other job, an employer would rightly sack an employee found to have been dishonest.

    Furthermore, in most if not al jobs nowadays employment contracts include a clause that an employee may not work for an outside organisation without written consent from senior management, in particular companies seen as competing with the employer and there are very sound, justifiable reasons for this.

    There may be a small number of MP’s who need to work a number of hours in a second job to keep their professional standards up to date for e.g. GP’s, Drs, nurses, social workers etc… and this should be considered on a case by case basis by the professional standards board.

    The job on offer to MP’s is a full time job in representing those they were elected to serve, those who put them in that position of privilege. If they don’t like not being allowed to have a second job, the solution is very simple LEAVE. I totally reject the allegation that this will lead to even more corruption. What we will get is MP’s who want to serve their constituents to the very best of their ability and not self serving capitalists, only in it for what they can gain with little or no regard for the needs of their constituents.

    £67,000 a year plus expenses is the renumeration for MP’s, ministers get a second salary for their additional work. A huge majority of the British public can only dream of earning that kind of money. So again, if you don’t like the salary on offer then don’t apply for the job and if you are already in the job LEAVE. Take the first bus out of their and don’t look back.

  • eric try

    Britain has always been a corrupt country, run by fat fingered greedy people led by the royals who are the expert users of the social system, they are the leaders of the filthy rich pack, so what would be different if what you say would happen no difference at all there was a time when we had a labour/socialist party led by real socialists but since Tony Blair we have had Tories in labours clothing and still have the same type of people but different faces, remember MagnaCarta did and does nothing for the ordinary people it was designed by and for the Barons and Knights of the day

    • terry

      eric try
      And where did that get us in the seventies, can you remember?, i can, i was never at work with all those socialists daft idea’s.

      • Mark

        You don’t by any chance think that’s what the elite / establishment wanted you to think with the power of the Unions taking more money out of their pockets. Look back in history, the gains were relatively meager for the working man and even that was to much to give. The gains didn’t even put us in line with the standards of living they enjoyed in Europe but for our greedy establishment it was to much so they set about to destroy the Unions. People such as yourself fell for it destroying the very movement that our fathers worked so hard for. The rest is history.

        • Mark

          Ask yourself the question with the standard of living that the French have enjoyed over the last 20 years how do they remain a wealthier country than the UK?
          If low payment of our workforce is so critical to UK business why has not London collapsed under the waves. In reality wages are a relatively small part of cost but its by far the easiest cost to attack.

  • CharlieFDevon

    I am not sure about all the pros and cons of allowing MPs to have second jobs. I think they could be allowed certain avenues of making more money but not ones that give the company they work for an advantage in Parliament or law making or contract tendering etc, but I do worry about my Conservative MP Geofrrey Cox. He worked 1120 hours last year as a barrister, earning hundreds of thousands of pounds. Fpr example this works out as 40 hours worked per week for 28 weeks. How can he therefore be giving his constituents the time they deserve? Every time I have written to him he has just spouted the exact party line, never responding to my specific questions and requests!

  • whorya

    how proud I am to know we are ONLY the 12th in the world of corruption, thanks to our MPs. should we not be trying to be LAST.

  • Mark

    If an MP is doing his job part time or only 10% of his / her time is committed to doing their job then the salary should be pro-rata the same as any other public sector job I have seen. As far as I am concerned £67,000 is for 100% of their time 37.5 hours per week committed to performing their parliamentary duties. If the job requires work only 10% of the 37.5 hour week then it should be advertised accordingly and paid accordingly. I am so sick to death of when the elite of this country get caught with their trousers down of the muddying the water campaign that begins in the press. Big business evades / avoids tax they say yeah but what about the window cleaner who doesn’t declare the the focus switches solely to the window cleaner in the press allowing the big business man to walk of free. I am sick of this as I imagine every decent individual within this country feels the same.

  • Dominico

    Scrap second jobs – they either work for me or they don’t. CUT THE NUMBERS. they yanks run their entire county on less than we have 180 should be plenty of MP’s. WHy should they be on a uniform salary anyway? They should boportional to the constituants registered to vote in their constituencies. Be an MP – Get on the Gravy Train

  • Walter Masson

    Calibre please don’t say this traitor is Scottish very bad name this side of the border he urged Maggie thatcher ta use us scots as guinea pigs for there poll tax ha ha ha he hasn’t enough with 67 thousand + all his other tax free income greedy toe rag ?

  • Memoro Forget

    So being the 12th least corrupt country is good enough is it? A certain level of corruption is acceptable to Toby Young it seems. Best that he does stay away from fighting the seat in that case.

    But what he’s really saying is more MPs – one’s who presumably aren’t breaking the rules right now because they can make enough money with extra jobs – will feel it necessary to do so if restricted to the current MPs salary. Presumably then many of these people are only behaving themselves because they’re making enough money at present. And these are the people we mustn’t discourage from parliament according to Toby!
    I wonder if he’s as charitable in his views if someone on low income or benefits resorts to nefarious activities because after all they’re only trying to supplement their income aren’t they?
    No, I’m afraid Toby has turned logic on its head. If £68k isn’t enough of a salary, then it’s NOT a ‘rich man’s game’, and they can leave the stage for those who can appreciate getting a decent salary, and for whom service to their constituents is of value. That way we might get MPs who can relate to the average citizen, and not the stream of social climbers whose major concern is how deep they can bury their snouts in the trough.

    • Albert Leslie James HALL

      MEMORO FORGET> You miss the point! ! If those ”poor people” took extra work in the black economy and pay no taxeds on that work that is a different matter than an MP or anyone else for that matter taking extra-curiccular activities that increase their income and PAY TAXES on that income. Many talented persons hold directorships in multiple companies and organisations and pay tax on their various earnings. It is fact,by the way that the TOP TEN PERCENT of earners in the UK pay well over fifty percent of income tax revenue whilst most of the whinging moaning minnies pay less than ONE percent and are actually likely to be taking more out than they put in, The bottom ten percent take out over eighty percent of all social payments and if that is not a MARXIST redistribution of wealth then I do not know what is !!

      • Memoro Forget

        I’m sorry Albert, but it’s you who’s missed the point of my post by a huge distance.
        My reference to what you refer to as ‘poor people’ was by way of highlighting how this guy Toby is willing to accept a level of wrongdoing by those in government, which he wouldn’t accept if they were from the lowlier end of the social spectrum. That was almost an aside, and I excuse neither.
        But not only do you miss my point, I think you miss the gist of the entire article! This isn’t about jobs on the side (although there’s an argument to be had there), this is about corrupt practises whereby MPs feel it ok to make extra money by abusing the access they have to decision makers & the channels of power. An MP cleaning toilets is fine if he feels impoverished, but selling his influence to whoever is carrying a wad of notes is an abuse of the power we have bestowed on him.
        Lastly, your tax references are simply a red herring in this argument. It’s certainly worth a debate regards the distribution of tax, but your views are laughably simplistic and it would need nothing short of pamphlet to educate you on this subject sorry to say.

  • ray adams

    Why a rich man’s pastime, there are plenty of people who would step up to the plate for 67k if it wasn’t such a tight boys club. This is the same with all parties.
    Career MP then a choice of Quango, House of Lords (in my opinion should be abolished) Senior Civil Servant or Directorship.
    Don’t you TOFFS fool yourselves we would be queuing down the street.

  • Fairdeal

    When anyone applies for a job they know the salary that they will be paid. If it is not enough then they shouldn’t apply. Simple as that. Local government officers and many other people in other occupations are not allowed to have second jobs. If you are going to be an MP, no second job, no grey area.

  • Mark

    Why is it someone claiming benefits all in getting £30,000 per year and doing nothing for the country are blasted in the press. BUT an MP earning £67,000 and by his own admission doing very little is portrayed by this article as if he were a victim. Don’t they amount to the same thing in reality?

  • prographo

    “If we expect men of Rifkind’s calibre to serve in the House of Commons” – we don’t, that is why he had to quit.

  • Brian Hinchcliffe

    The writer is certain that the moral calibre of MPs is so low that they will find ways to cheat and swindle the system. He need say no more. This is exactly what most voters thought during the expenses scandal. As a class, professional politicians cannot be trusted not to thieve. Like the banks they need stiff regulation. When teachers, nurses or benefits claimants are discovered behaving in a dishonest way they usually lose their livelihood, sometimes their freedom, at far less than a quarter the salary & expenses of an MP. A disgraced MP also gets a huge settlement bonus.
    He points to France where politicians have been allowed, and expected, to take back-handers for centuries. They need to reform their system, too. The French are sick to death of it, and without reform it will end in another revolution. Just watch le Pen’s FN!
    The great danger is an increasing alienation from the electorate and a public who likewise turn to crime, plus civil unrest.
    What UK needs is MPs who are un touchables. Where are they?

  • titus_amousis

    If the job of MP is so poorly paid (by their standards) why are the sons of MPs (Straw, Kinnock, Prescott, Blair etc, etc) fighting to get into parliament? When the perks of the job are added up, it amounts to a salary of over £120,000 a year. Not bad for a position which requires no qualification except being a crony or supporter of the Labour or Tory pary. It’s amazing how many people enter parliament as a poor man and retire as millionaires.

  • Michael North

    It was only journalism that kept Churchill solvent.

  • murf

    Every one always tells you to live within your means so if 67grand isn’t enough for them to live on, don’t take the job,,,.

  • ernie wilson

    What I would like to know is how much of the taxpayers money retiring Politicians like Rifkind, Brown, Hague, Bruce, etc etc are going to get will it be £100,000 £120,000 each?? Not to mention the BIG FAT PENSION they have awarded themselves. It is a different world. If you or I lose our jobs, we leave with nothing, or get a pittance in comparison to these Politicians.

  • Steve Pickwell

    These jobs need to be given to up and coming ministers who would appreciate the salary and kickbacks under the provoso they work hard for their party , Public and position . someone mentioned what they receive when they leave . Well John Major lives out in a nice period property just outside Huntingdon , A little cone marks carpark from road . All looks normal from the tiny carpark but through the wooden gate it all changes ,small out building houses two armed to the teeth police officers 24hrs . Nothing like still being pandered to and he will till he die’s , Now you imagine what the costs for that are alone !! They most probably even pay for his collection of Koi Carp !!

  • Jackie Franklin

    rubbish. we must always strive for best in world not accept 12th corrupt as being acceptable. if man in street copied MP’s expense claims.second homes fiddles and other self serving self rewarding agendas. whole country would denigrate to being worse than a third world country.
    no issues a person having extra earnings but with proviso the main ‘job’ being an MP is fulfilled. one MP already saying bored and having loads of free time etc. it needs to be a full time job, full transparency ( every penny accounted for) , full disclosure of interests and other ‘freebies’ received as part of being an MP.
    we need to ban ANY MP from being able to stand for a third term . this would ensure they actually keep a foot in real world and not have whole political life in a world far from common citizens.
    we also need to encourage a mix of politicians from all walks of life . like a jury. thus reflecting it citizens aspirations. views and wishes.

  • Baz

    Wouldn’t surprise me if the pair of them got banished to the House of Lords.

  • BottomLineDude

    ” If we expect men of Rifkind’s calibre to serve in the House of Commons..”

    We’ve all seen an example of Rifkind’s “calibre” this week. As a hardened cynic (when it comes to politicians), I DO expect it.. I just don’t want it!

  • richard frazer

    perhaps we will get honest people and not shyster lawers

  • Pragmatist

    Mr Young – your justification for MPs to line their pockets whilst treating an MP’s post as a part-time occupation, is at best spurious and at worst extremely offensive and patronising. With a positive attitude to the whole issue, it should be possible to have a decent cross-section of the Country represented at Westminster. The £68k (soon to be increased substantially) – ‘unstoppable’,apparently is obviously not sufficient for our elders and betters to sit around chewing the fat and spending months /years producing reports and legislation. Many proudly boast that they have been MPs for decades! No, they should serve a maximum of 2 terms, preferably one, before going back into the ‘real’ world, so they can update their skills and see at first hand what effects their lawmaking is having on the rest of us.If they’ve done a good job at Westminster, they can be re-elected later. This old-school tie club, with its upper and lower levels currently can’t be trusted to run a bath, and the Civil Service comes a close second to becoming the most unfit for purpose organisation in the UK -Heaven help us all, and future generations if we don’t make some drastic changes soon!

  • Ron Todd

    If they earn extra money doing a legitimate job fine, they should not be allowed to make money just through the influence they have as elected politicians.

  • Nick Harman

    Is it a joke when he says ‘those poor backbenchers earning £67,060’? It’s a good income by most people’s standards surely, even if it’s not enough for some to be able ‘to support themselves and their families in the degree of comfort they’d like’.

    But then

    ‘ it will be a good thing if adventurers interested in earning more than £67,000 are put off, because people should want to be MPs out of a sense of public duty.’

    So £67k is in fact plenty, because it’s not the money they want, it’s the job.

    I’m confused now.

  • James Conan

    Ridiculous justification.
    Oh, he WOULD be earning much more if he’d stuck to law? Well, if money was his top priority, as it seems to be, he should’ve done.
    If he truly desired to ‘serve’ the public, he wouldn’t carp at 67k. Perhaps that figure is proportionate to all the free time he claimed to be having in that recent expose.

  • xerxes arquebus

    You haven’t done your friends any favours with this unthinking lazy rubbish, young Young. Time you were sacked methinks.

  • Suleiman

    My word, Britain is corrupt (and has always been). Corrupt in all aspects possible. It is just, that in contrast to many other countries, our official propaganda has always insisted on portraying Britain as the country which is the ‘cleanest’, the one state in which there is no corruption.

  • David

    ..and the law is not overpaid?

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