Due to the move of the blog to Wordpress posts from Jan 2012 onward will have commenting disabled (when I remember to do it)
Cheers - AE

Monday, 26 October 2009

Keeping 'er indoors happy - an update.

Seems some think that everything will be made okay if they just employ each other's spouses. I think a lot of people are missing the point here. Parliament is not supposed to be some kind of swingers' party where all the car keys go into a bowl but regardless of who goes off with whom it's the taxpayer who gets fucked. If the significant other is right for the job and pulls their weight it shouldn't matter that they work for their own partner, so working for another MP wouldn't be necessary (wouldn't be prohibited either of course). If they're crap they shouldn't be working for any MP, end of. The test is competence and value for money, and as long as an MPs' constituents are getting that there is no problem. If they think the MP is just hiring family at bloody good rates just to stuff the odd envelope and reply to a few emails - or in the infamous Conway case, apparently fuck all - they might be forgiven for thinking that the venal little shit is just milking the system by adding to the family or couple's collective income.

The thing is that MPs and their spouses are making a rod for their own backs here. I'm sure that if it was a handful employing family and they appeared to be doing the job okay there wouldn't be much made of it. But with the expenses scandal highlighting what a bunch of greedy cunts they are and nearly a third of them employing spouses (might be more if sons, daughters and siblings are added - not sure) it just looks like another piss take. Is it remotely credible that all MPs employing spouses in various roles interviewed a range of candidates and all 200+ found that their own spouse was best suited? I can't help thinking that if Douglas Carswell's and Daniel Hannan's Plan is ever implemented then the open primary selection of prospective parliamentary candidates along with the right to recall wayward MPs will go a long way to solving the problem. Candidates who seemed untrustworthy wouldn't be selected to contest seats and MPs who proved untrustworthy would be recalled and probably lose their seats. A term or two of this would ensure that any spouses on the payroll would most likely be doing the job and deserve to be there. Failing that then all MPs' staff should be centrally advertised and recruited by the House of Commons itself, and MPs would be assigned researchers, secretaries, office managers, whatever from a central pool and if spouses want to apply then let 'em. It might be necessary to select from geographically similar areas of the pool so that the MP for Truro doesn't end up with staff who live no closer than Sunderland, and that would obviously tip things in the favour of any spouses and rellies in the pool. It might be also be necessary to allow MPs the right to reject staff after a trial period (or vice versa), and since that would also shorten the odds it should be allowed as long as it doesn't look like they're just going to keep rejecting people until they get the one they want. But if Mrs Jones ends up working for Mr Jones MP by random lot then it shouldn't be a big deal. After all, most of us think a number of them are nailing the secretaries anyway.
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