There has been a lot of chest beating over the subject of MPs expenses, and much recrimination, but one of the areas that some MPs seem to have just been allowed to carry on, as before, is in the area of having second jobs, often bringing in very large second incomes.
Now I have always been quite sceptical of MPs who are just professional politicians with very little experience of what is often called ‘the real world’ but MPs should be representative of society, as far as reasonably possible.
The debate in South West Norfolk was a battle between the old fashioned Tory party and Mr Cameron’s alleged brand of modern Conservatives.
The recent news that ‘Conservative candidates are too posh’ would have come as no surprise to many, but today a senior Labour MP has attacked several Conservative MPs for trying to cash in on their second incomes before they are given up at the end of the year.
As the Labour MP said; ‘David Cameron’s allies are filling their boots with a last-minute money grab.’
Apparently William Hague earned £15,000 for a speech to an annual conference in September, declaring it as two hours work! Perhaps the prospect of just an MPs wages, that of a Secretary of State, a free house in London and one in the country is not enough for the rich living Mr Hague.
This appears to be contrary to all the honeyed words that Mr Cameron has deployed to make himself look palatable on the issue of MPs expenses. He needs to understand, though I suspect he doesn’t, that if he really wants his party to be in touch with real people, not many of us earn £7,500 per hour.
It may be ‘chicken feed’ as Boris Johnson would say, but it is this sort of snouts in the trough attitude that makes it clear to most people that the Tories are still a party for the rich and privileged and do not represent the majority of people.
See the Evening Standard for a little bit more.