MEMBERS of parliament could lose the right to vote themselves pay increases under plans to link their salaries directly to the earnings of judges and other senior public sector staff.
Gordon Brown, the prime minister, is understood to be “sympathetic” to proposals that would ensure the pay of MPs is in step with that of judges or senior doctors, most of whom earn at least £100,000 a year.
Hmm. Let us think about this for a little bit, shall we? A judge will have had to go through a number of qualifying stages. First to become a lawyer. Then to actually become a good one (no, they don\’t promote the dunderheads). A working career of 20-30 years perhaps, being monitored all the while. Then there will be, at some point along the way, trainee judgeships: things like a part-time Recorder (something Cherie Booth has done, as an example). Finally, our lawyer, who has done this part-time judging so that people can evaluate ability to do the job, might get appointed. And, at least usually, take a pay cut when becoming a judge.
Doctors? To become a senior doctor (or a GP), you first need to get top end results at A level to even get into medical school. Then there\’s the first degree and some further years of training. 7 in total I think it is. Plus some further years of on the job training to get to the point where one is indeed making that fabled £100k. Something like a decade all told: less time than a judge, certainly, but then one is not taking a pay cut when reaching that peak.
And to become an MP? Well, let\’s be honest about this, shall we? For most of the UK constituencies are in fact one party states. Aberystwyth (or however you spell the damn place) or Islwyn will elect a donkey as long as it wears a red rosette. Hull East is coming up for selection and everyone knows that the Labour Party nominee will become the MP. Similarly, if Boris wins the Mayorality and leaves Henley, no one thinks that anything other than the Tory Party hustings will determine who the next MP is. Thus for most (many?) MPs, certainly those who actually expect to make a career of it in a safe seat, becoming an MP is about greasing up to the small number of people who determine who the nominee is for a certain party in a certain seat.
And the argument is that this skill should be equally rewarded as the other two?
I think not.