Tuesday 3 February 2009

Four legs good, two legs better

I was going to comment on the “drafting for sale” scandal at the House of Lords: that although politicians criticise the old fashioned nature of the House of Lords, suggesting that it should therefore move to an elected chamber with rules similar to the House of Commons, the alleged offenders were in fact elected MPs who had been transferred to the House of Lords to get them out of the way. And that having a wholly elected upper house would be more likely to create even more legislators divorced from the real world and with no experience of real life.

Then I discovered Rachel Sylvester had said this, much more eloquently than I could, in the Times today.

So I will just express concern about one of the ideas - to ban MPs from having outside jobs. I can see that a good MP should be busy. But MPs today live in a protective bubble with an increasing number never having had a proper job. Having MPs with outside experience can be a good thing.
Any restriction on outside jobs should be accompanied by a restriction on the amount of time MPs can serve – perhaps 2 terms. And perhaps that term restriction would be a good thing anyway. It would make MPs more independent and likely to hold the Government to account.

1 comment:

Troy said...

Maybe people shouldn't be able to become MPs until they are at least fifty years old. Then they would have a decent amount of life experience, maturity and, even more importantly, should by then have had a previous career.
Perhaps also compulsory retirement from being an MP at the first General Election after they are sixty five.
What do you think?