A tea party in Boston and Skegness

A junior minister quits the government.

He takes a job in London while his family live elsewhere: what does he expect?  Did he not realise the job was in London?  OK, lots of people have to do that kind of thing, but in his case there’s a real difference: as a member of the legislature, his job is supposed to be about improving the way things work.  He could see the problem, he suffered from it himself: did he never think to DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT?  At least, use his position as a platform from which to campaign, even if he can’t persuade the government to do anything.

As reported, he seems to be saying that being an MP is incompatible with his family life.  WRONG: being an MP is just incompatible with NOT being a Londoner.  If you’re not a native Londoner, you become a adoptive one by taking the effing job.

That’s why those of us out in the sticks are constitutionally excluded from representation in parliament.  There can’t be many who are such complete idiots as to stand for parliament without wanting to live in London, or at the very least being indifferent to it.  This man with family in Lincolnshire probably represents the place better than anyone qualified to be an MP.  Or would have done, if only he hadn’t so totally wasted his opportunity to put our democratic deficitvoid onto the political agenda.

What a total idiot!

Posted on August 11, 2014, in politics, rants, uk. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Plenty of folks have to leave their families behind for long periods in order to do their jobs. Back in the 20th century my father, having been made redundant the wrong side of 50, took a job as a civil engineer in West Africa. For several years he saw his wife and son for a few weeks twice a year, and there was no internet and no phone network out there, so all communication between visits was by snail mail (furthermore, under the archaic laws of the time, he had to pay tax in the UK but was not allowed to vote in British elections – some democratic deficit there methinks!).

    Forward to 2012, and following my own redundancy my partner and I had to live separately during the week as she worked too far away from the family home to be able to commute daily (a bit like being an MP but rather less well paid!). This went on for almost two years until her own job came to an end, and, unlike those MPs, there was no subsidy for her rented flat during that time or generous resettlement grant at the end.

    In both of these personal examples, we all survived relatively unscathed, if financially a little bruised.

    Mark Simmonds needs to get a dose of real life.

  2. I don’t think you’re constitutionally barred from representation. It’s just a matter of practice.

    I imagine your ‘teleworking MPs’ suggestion would go down very badly with the party whips, and by extension, with the elite of each major party. It’s much harder to twist people’s arms, when they have the option of just not taking your calls. Of course, that opposition would make it very hard to get the idea onto any public agenda at all – basically, you’re limited to (a) campaigning outside parliament, and (b) those very, very few souls who have the guts to stand up to their whips.

    Remember Martin Bell, the white knight who was going to clean up Westminster? Nice man apparently, but in the end, he achieved approximately the square root of bugger all. It’s never as easy as it looks.

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