On the 27th January a draft checklist for candidates was posted on this blog. As the election nears it is time to revisit the list. Hopefully it will be of use when candidates call, phone or have public meetings.
Several criteria are self-explanatory. Others may need further explanation of the thinking behind the idea. As the election nears it is intended to run through some that are less clear-cut. For instance this one:
3) I support the practice of having no other paid employment while I am an MP.
There are MP’s such as Andrew Lansley, who will say that being paid £20,000 for a couple of days a month, “Keeps them in touch with the real world of business.” Mind you, when he said this on ‘Question Time’ he was taken aback by the reaction from members of the public who do not earn that amount in a year. Other MP’s such as Ann Widdecomb use their newspaper columns to have a go at opponents like the female ex-porn director standing as a candidate for the Lib-Dems. What the saintly Ms Widdecomb does not make clear is that she takes a considerable sum of money from the owner of the Daily Express to write her column. The Express is owned by serial pornographer Desmond who made his fortune running explicit chat lines and adult porn sites.
One of the gems from comedian Mark Thomas’s recent ‘Manifesto’ tour was, “ Politicians should have to wear tabards displaying the names and logos of the companies with whom they have a financial relationship, like a racing driver.” William Hague was on Any Questions this week. It is probable the audience reaction to his comments would have been markedly different if he had been covered with the badges and logos of all the organisations he gets money from. [Notice the non-use in any of the above of the word 'earns.']
As Mark Thomas writes, “MP’s are there to represent thousands of constituents, hold the government to account and run the country…. solve the national debt, banking crisis, mass unemployment, troops in Afghanistan…doesn’t sound part-time to me.”