NEW POLL: What should we pay our MPs?

by Stephen Tall on August 24, 2009

Tory MP Sir Patrick Cormack – the grandees’ grandee – isn’t alone in thinking MPs are under-paid. The Times recently reported (under the oh-so-impartial headline, ‘MPs hijack expenses inquiry with complaints and demands for pay rise’) that Sir Christopher Kelly’s Committee on Standards in Public Life inquiry into Parliamentary standards has been inundated with MPs’ responses including demands – especially from Tories – that their pay be increased. The debate has been well-rehearsed. Gone are the days of amateur MPs, men with means who could afford to regard being elected to Parliament as their public duty and/or an amusing hobby. Paying members of Parliament is an essential pre-requisite of a democracy of all the talents. How much they should be paid inevitably plunges you into the murky realms of envy, greed and compromise. On a rational supply and demand basis, it is perfectly obvious that MPs should be paid not a single penny more. Political parties in winnable seats have no problem in finding candidates: more people want to do the job than there are vacancies available. It’s an employer’s market, and in this case the employer is the taxpayer: why should we cough up more cash?

Brown’s silence on Megrahi: “absurd” says Clegg, “right” says Steel

by Stephen Tall on August 24, 2009

Nick Clegg has today condemned Gordon Brown for issuing no statement following the release on compassionate grounds of convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset Ali Al Megrahi: Although the decision to release Megrahi was a Scottish one for which Gordon Brown was (…)

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