OK. Be warned. What I am about to write will not go down well with most of you.
MPs have been awarded a 1.7% pay rise by the Senior Salaries Review Board. Predictably, the media is up in arms about it. I just did a short piece on LBC with Nick Ferrari who clearly thought it was outrageous and later on this morning I'll get the benefits of Jon Gaunt's views on SunTalk (11.10am for those who want to tune in).
My view is simple. If you contract out these decisions to an independent body, you then have to accept the recommendation they make. If individual MPs wish not to take the rise, that's fine, but there's no reason why they should.
Yes, thousands of people up and down the country aren't getting any pay rise at all this year. Indeed, some are getting cuts. Presumably, the SSRB took this into account when making their decision.
MPs still get paid less than a Deputy Head Teacher, a GP or a senior Health Service manager. I happen to think that if we want people to pass laws over us we should be attracting top class people into politics, rather than some of the dross we have got at the moment on all sides of the House. The desire to serve the public is a vital part of all of this, but that doesn't mean MPs should have to wear hairshirts the whole time.
I'm not saying £65,000 is peanuts, but it's certainly attracting too many monkeys.