Wednesday, 8 February 2012
Money For Old Rope
At the centre of the row over the Britain's 'bonus culture' - is the view that certain people are getting money for old rope - that they're working the system and not providing good value for money.
Now I said in a previous post that I'm a bit surprised that the Labour leadership has finally woken up - to this money for old rope argument.
Because it's been going on for years - and right under Labour's noses - including the recently adjusted nose of current Labour leader - Ed Miliband.
In fact it's still going on now and it's not just bonus payments that are highly questionable - when it comes to getting value for public money.
To my mind it's a complete scandal that so many Westminster MPs are effectively working part-time while drawing full-time salaries of £65,000 a year - plus all their personal and office expenses.
Now this moonlighting business affects MPs of all parties - but while Labour is on a crusade about money for old rope - why not throw the spotlight on two of its own MPs?
None other than David Miliband and Gordon Brown - whose exploits have been covered previously on the blog site.
According to the Private Eye - David Miliband's extra-parliamentary earnings have now reached an eye watering £400,000.
Which begs the question - 'How can he pretend to be doing a full-time day job as an MP, if he's spending so much time and energy doing other more lucrative things.
The same is true of our former Prime Minister Gordon Brown - who has one of the worst voting records in the House of Commons and seems to pursue other interests with much more vigour and energy these days.
To my mind any MP who spends a lot of time or earns lots of money - or both - away from their day job is not really a full-time MP and is short-changing their local constituents.
In which case they should resign and let someone else take the job.
Which would have the added advantage of boosting employment elsewhere - and potentially reducing the country's dole queue.
Here's a post about the former Labour leader Gordon Brown - from March 2011.
Moonlighting MPs (March 27th 2011)
The Mail on Sunday is not my cup of tea for news, politics or analysis - but you've got to hand it to the newspaper - it does come up with some good stories that seem to bay the rest of the media by.
Today's paper highlights a high-flying row involving Gordon Brown - the former Prime Minister and still Labour MP for Fife - and a dispute about business class seats on a British Airways flight from Abu Dhabi to London.
Gordon Brown was returning from a speaking engagement in Abu Dhabi - where he gave a lecture to New York University students.
The university has a campus in Abu Dhabi and has previously appointed the former Labour leader to a £70,000 a year post - as a 'distinguished global leader in residence'.
The full story can be read in the Mail on Sunday or online at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/
Essentially the paper reports that some passengers were angry at being 'bumped' from business class to make way for Gordon Brown and his entourage - who required six of the £3,000 per head seats.
During the first hour-long leg of the flight from Oman to Abu Dhabi, the displaced passengers stared resentfully at the six empty seats in Business Class - known as Club World by British Airways, the paper reports.
At Abu Dhabi they were livid to see Gordon Brown board the plane with his team and take up 'their' seats - apparently.
British Airways issued a statement after the incident and a spokeswoman for the airline said Mr Brown's arrival on the flight was a coincidence - and he had been unfairly blamed by the mutinous passengers.
But this misses the real point - of course - which is:
How can MPs justify a full-time public salary - if they spend so much time away from their day job?