The Professors passion for "The Science of Deceit" started here...

Employed by the Ministry (in a covert capacity) to help introduce the law ending dishonest politics, you can see his hand all over the posts of past.

Current political circumstances have forced him to reveal himself and as we speak, MPs are signing up to re-introduce The Elected Representatives (Prohibition of Deception) Bill for debate with over 80,000 voters supporting them.

Posts before Jan '08 are purely for the record (with hindsight they make fascinating reading). Posts after May 13th mark the Professor's return.

Meet the Professor

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monkeys wanted, peanuts paid.

MP's evidence and submissions on how to reform the expenses system can be seen in all their glory here. They are deeply indicative of the mindset that led to the scam.

Many of the MP's submissions include the need to increase their own salaries... arguments range from along the lines of Helen Goodman's "selflessness in public life should not mean sacrificing the interests of our children and families” (she's a junior work and pensions minister) to David Blunkett's. “The most logical change would be to bite the bullet and pay MPs the kind of salary they would expect to be paid in equivalent jobs,”.

Andrew Robatham MP said if he had not left the Army, “I would almost certainly have become at least a Lieutenant-Colonel [who] is paid more than an MP and may also receive boarding school allowance, subsidised quarters and other perks”. He suggested “to attract people of quality, ability, intelligence and experience into Parliament” a salary of between £105,000 and £110,000 a year was needed .

...and herein lies the rub... If you asked your employer for a pay rise you'd do so with a pretty good argument for your performance in that position.

So how to measure an MP's performance ? Their job is to represent their constituents in Parliament - holding the government to account, ensuring the country's run to our satisfaction and if they happen to be in the executive, in a ministerial position, there's the additional responsibility of actually running the country.

By their own admission, since 2002, when they were first made aware the expenses "subsidy" had gotten out of hand by Robin Cook MP, they haven't come close to Robotham's requirement for "people of quality, ability, intelligence" - they chose to perpetuate the system by fighting FOI requests in court whilst continuing to take advantage of it and then publishing a "redacted" form of expenses even after the full versions had been exposed by the press. Naturally, those outside of government blamed the government, effectively admitting they'd failed in their job to hold them to account and couldn't hold them to account on a continuing basis. Worse than that, they'd been lying to their employers over the impending revelations whilst fighting them in the courts to prevent the lie being exposed.

Which brings us back to the boss's office and the request for a pay rise... you have to wonder what his Lordship Alan Sugar would've made of the request. This writer's inclination is to only offer a pay rise to their replacement. .

More to follow on Helen Goodman and Robotham's submissions

No comments:

Post a Comment