Soapbox Richard Clark: So, MPs want more money? They should try living in the real world
IT may have escaped the notice of some Derby Telegraph readers that our elected representatives – MPs – are pressing for a pay rise. Unbelievable it may be, but true.
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority has recently surveyed MPs about their pay. The majority thought they were worth £86,000 per annum – a £21,000 increase on their current £65,000. This suggests to me that whilst MPs are of the world, they are certainly not in the world that most people inhabit.
Andrew Bridgen, the Tory MP for North West Leicestershire, said: "The vast majority of the public do not consider £65,000 a year to be a lot of money." As an example of patronising ignorance and arrogance this takes some beating.
It is worth noting that, like estate agents and football managers, MPs need no professional training or formal qualifications, just people's votes.
Our political class when challenged are quick to say how hard they work. But then, how would we know? Who measures their productivity. I do not think that sitting on your backside, braying like a demented donkey constitutes hard work. The only sweat that these people know is of the "cold" variety at the thought of not being re-elected. Then, of course, there is their role away from Westminster. All those paid-for "fact finding" trips abroad; the free or subsidised tickets to major cultural and sporting events. The lucrative consultancy work and executive jobs they manage to find time for whilst claiming to be working hard on our behalf.
Certainly, being an MP has done Tony Blair and his wife no harm. Since leaving Parliament, Blair has assiduously accumulated personal wealth on a vast scale. Likewise, those well-known "socialists", Mr and Mrs Kinnock and family, who have enriched themselves from that undemocratic and corrupt organisation known as the European Community.
More recently, after many months of "ducking and diving", Liberal Democrat MP Chris Huhne decided to plead guilty to trying to pervert the course of justice, a very serious offence. It is worth us remembering that, but for a mere 511 votes this mendacious scoundrel would have been deputy prime minister in our discredited Coalition government.
When asked about Huhne's fall from grace, Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg pronounced himself "shocked". I wonder who Clegg thinks he is kidding? I suspect that like me, many Derby Telegraph readers will not be in the least bit shocked by this kind of behaviour. After all, prior to Huhne, there is a very long list of previously disgraced politicians.
I would be interested to learn if any of our local MPs think that they too are worth £86,000 a year.
All voters need to remember that these charlatans can only prosper if we take the time and trouble to vote for them in the first place.