18 comments on “We ought to try this

  1. It’s a great idea… we should put a petition online – see if we can get 100K signatures so it has to be considered for debate in the HoC.

    Direct Democracy in action ;-)

    (The link is broken)

  2. Perhaps raising MPs pay might be a better idea. Nobody competent in the business world would be attracted into politics by an MPs salary.

    We pay peanuts and complain when we get Monkeys!

  3. I’m not sure we want competent business people in parliament, we want them running businesses.

    Being a politician shouldn’t be seen as being the be all and end all. Ideally it would be a sort of part time job, and in that case then yes, I would agree that the best people you would want competent people giving the executive a hard time.

    The fundamental problem is that the “news agenda” is dominated by the activities of these parasites, and in fact, with the advent of 24 hr news, whereas once people complained of a military industrial complex (which has since been destroyed, certainly in the UK) there is now a political-mediatical complex which is actually far more harmful and dangerous.

    WHereas the military industrial complex just took your money and occasionally slaughtered innocents (and occasionally non-innocents) in far off lands of which we know little, the politico-mediatical complex takes much more of your money and brainwashes your children, and also slaughters innocents in F.O.L.O.W.W.K.L. and arranges for 24 hr media coverage of jets taking off and heavily made-up smug bastards in London reciting solemnly “there is no harder task for a leader than to send our young men etc etc”

    These scum make me angry and sickened by their cynicism lies and moral corruption.

    Trouble is, I do not see a way back to people looking out for themselves – a genuinely free, libertarian-minded populace seems impossibly distant.

  4. The problem is that the state has too much power and takes too much of our money.

    Reduce that and no one would want to be an MP.

  5. For myself I wouldn’t just cut their wages, I would cut their hours two.

    Have parliament limited to sitting 40-days a year (say 1 day per month + emergency sittings) and it would severely limit their ability to dictate legislation at their electorate.

    I would also institute a requirement that no MP can be elected who has not worked for at least 10-years in private business or industry (i.e. not NHS, Councils, Government departments, QUANGO’s, etc.)

    Anyone who has ever worked in a ‘political’ organization or capacity (Lobbying, PR, political action groups, fake charities) would be permanently excluded from election.

  6. John thats all right then, as a charity worker myself I’ve met thousands of people who work for charities. Never met anyone working for a fake charity yet and I’m a sociable person.
    I’ve done lobbying and PR but as I’ve never worked for an organisation specialising in those I’d be eligible still eh?

  7. Murray Rothbard – “Perhaps raising MPs pay might be a better idea. Nobody competent in the business world would be attracted into politics by an MPs salary. We pay peanuts and complain when we get Monkeys!”

    I don’t think that money is the issue. I think the minute scrutiny of the media and the very nasty destructiveness with which they go over every politician – at least over the unimportant things – is a bigger deterrent. I doubt there are many people whose private lives would stand up to the sort of vicious attacks the media hands out. Look at poor Romney getting done over for a fictional piece of bullying when he was in middle school.

  8. No doubt there would still be candidates for every seat even if you charged MPs for the privilege of serving. Yet I doubt that people would find the likely outcomes satisfactory or think this a sensible test of the right level for MPs’ pay.

    I would suggest that it would be wise to set MPs salaries at a level comparable to say those of high court judges. After all, it doesn’t make much sense to leave them collectively in control of multi-billion pound budgets whilst individually short of the price of a sandwich.

    It’s frankly amazing that we haven’t yet had more significant corruption scandals given the disparity between MPs pay and the value of the money under parliament’s control.

  9. I’m well aware that paying MPs well is not popular, but handing the keys to the cash-box to people and then keeping the same people short of funds is not sensible.

    I also believe that paying peanuts attracts monkeys. The present low opinion people have of MPs doesn’t contradict that! Consider Singapore (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jan/04/singapore-prime-minister-lee-loong), where ministers at least are thought to be able to distinguish elbow from posterior.

  10. Much as it is a superficially attractive proposal, one of the reasons we switched to paying the egregious charlatans in the first place is that the calibre of self-serving cretin you get when you do is slightly more citizen-friendly than H’s monkeys.

    Now, the move to endlessly-on media drivel as per cuffleyburgers has forced us towards the done-nothing charisma vacuum end of the competence spectrum, with delights such as Boris and Tommy Sheridan and disasters such as Galloway such enjoyable exceptions.

    But if we then moved to no-pay? Can you imagine a HoC full of super-annuated Bob Crows on their bloated union-exec pensions (and still in possession of their union-owned London pads) and ‘Peter Principle’ middle managers still paid by their lobbying companies and on results-oriented bonuses? Do you think we, regardless of our political opinions, would be any better served?

  11. Why don’t we try something really revolutionary like not paying them at all and possibly requiring that they own some land or at least have an alternative income source.
    One advantage might be that only those with enough wealth would then be making decisions for the rest of us!!

  12. “Nobody competent in the business world would be attracted into politics by an MPs salary”

    Yes, but a lot of incompetents are already attracted by the salary, and a lot more would be if it were increased.

    What we want is a pay scheme that allows the able to apply without over-rewarding the useless.

    Why don’t we scrap MPs’ pay, but compensate them for loss of earnings based on their pre-election salary? (median of the previous 3 years, to stop them gaming the system)

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