I just watched the first episode of series 2 of the revolution will be televised. i hadn’t seen it before and I enjoyed it. you can find it here if you are so inclined,
One of the sketches involved a pair of mock politicians on a council estate and other locations attempting to convince people they should be paid more. Unsurprisingly this led to a series of reactions, none of which were positive.
Well, I would like to throw a, perhaps controversial, point of view out there. I think politicians should be paid more. Quite a lot more in fact. But I have some caveats.
There is often an argument that you can’t attract the best people to politics because of the salary (far below equivalent roles in industry apparently). This would obviously go some way to explaining the shower we have in the houses of parliament at the moment. Well, I am a big believer in a democratic system but I think ours is broken and full of self serving individuals who are more worried about sound bites and appearing on the evening news than they are about their communities.
Anyway, I say, pay the MP’s a load more money, but only with the following caveats:
1 – No more expenses… Sorry chaps and chapesses, you have made it clear you can’t be trusted. Until my boss is willing to buy me a duck island and some hand printed wallpaper, you can pay for your own sandwiches.
2 – Get a real job… or more to the point, make sure you have a career or two in industry before entering politics. Career politicians are completely disconnected with the working people of Britain. (Note, not the ‘working classes’. Almost everyone has a job of some sort, and politicians don’t really get any of them).
3 – Aptitude test… Again, apologies, but I’m genuinely not convinced everyone would get through a basic aptitude and psychometric evaluation. Ironically, all of the soldiers who eventually get sent to war by politicians have to go through one of these.
4 – Resign all other posts. It really isn’t acceptable to hold non-exec positions at other companies while employed as a member of parliament. I want you to have my interests at heart, not those of a company. Of course, this shouldn’t be an issue what with you being paid more and everything.
5 – Follow through. If I don’t keep the promises I make to my employer, I get in trouble. Actually, they are very nice but you get the idea). Don’t promise things you cannot deliver, and then blame someone else after you have failed. I understand this one will require quite a change to the whole election process, especially the manifesto creation, but I think it would be worth while.
6 – Stop shouting at each other. Watching MPs screech, boo and whine in the houses of parliament like petulant children at primary school distances them so much from real people it is a joke. Try doing that in a meeting at work and see how far it gets you. Is it the traditional way of doing things? Maybe. Do I care? Not at all.
That’s a starter for ten, and if anyone else has any caveats to add to the list, please feel free to do so in the comments below. In my view, the people who run the country should be fairly compensated for what they do, but in the same breath, we clearly have the wrong set of people running the country.