James Spencer has written a very silly post here, with the title of Stupid things Gavin Maclure has written this week.
Gavin Maclure writes in favour of more money for MPs.
However this is stupid for two reasons.
Then the stupidity begins.
1) We have plenty of choice for MPs. 100 years ago it was common for there to be uncontested elections and byelections. Last time round Ipswich had 9 candidates, and that was before the selection contests. Even in Ipswich, which was not seen as that winnable a seat at the start there were a whole host of candidates at least a couple of whom, like Samantha George, where actually quite good. And that’s before you look at the selection for safe seats where you can have hundreds of hopefuls applying. If we look at the number of applicants there is a case for lowering the pay of MPs. We have plenty of choice for MPs.
This is stupid because most of the paragraph is completely irrelevant. Does James believe that the fruitloop, Peter Turtil wouldn’t have stood if MP’s got paid less?
It’s also stupid because it sounds as though he wants to encourage less public participation on the democratic process. Being a Conservative, James is supposed to like choice, so the more choice, the better.
The second reason he gives is
2) Being a politician should not be a profession. We have been damaged by these people who slave away as special advisors and party functionaries (like all three party leaders) and when they leave do not become doctors, accountants or even journalists but Lords and lobbyists. Politics as a career path is deeply damaging to the democratic process, giving the public the (correct) impression that politicians are a class apart.
This is stupid because saying that being a politician should not be a profession is as ridiculous as saying that being a nurse should not be a profession. We need politicians to actually make decisions instead of advisors and spin doctors making them. It’s better to cut the number of civil servants and pay those elected by the public more than pay those elected by the public peanuts and let unelected bureaucrats do everything. Politicians are seen as a class apart because they all went to the same posh public schools, went to the same best universities, attend the same Shoreditch dinner parties and have the same life experiences. This isn’t because of MP’s pay, but because of a failure by the state education system to have people from different backgrounds aspire to go into politics.
Then James gets to the point of the whole post
Besides some of our best paid politicians today are in the European Parliament, and can we really say that the higher pay has produced a generation to rival Cato and Cicero?
This is stupid because there was actually no need to bring Europe into it. Besides, the likes of Vicky Ford and David Campbell Bannerman are a lot nearer to rivalling Cato and Cicero than the likes of Richard Howlett and Sandy Martin are. Though if the likes of Vicky Ford and David Campbell Bannerman were not standing and the choice was Sandy Martin or Nigel Farage or Roger Helmer, I’d have to grit my teeth and through tear streaked eyes, vote for Sandy Martin.