Saturday, July 03, 2010

Those "Lazy" MPs

Here are a few tweets from MPs from today...

Jim and I looking forward to a lovely evening at the Tenbury Branch BBQ
Harriet Baldwin

Excellent 24 hours with welsh labour ams and mps in Llandridod wells.
Chris Bryant

Attended prize-giving of annual Dry-Stone Walling Competition, Little Asby
Rory Stewart

After having finished writing speech for Harlow Civic Service tmmrw, now pleased to be at Cllr Mike Garnett Old Harlow Tory branch barbecue.
Robert Halfon

I could go on, because there are dozens more like those. The point of pointing out these tweets is to show those who think MPs are lazy, good for nothing individuals, that after a week in Westminster, most MPs will be out today in their constituencies or at political meetings.

Whereas you and I have been shopping, having our hair cut, watching Germany thrash the arse off the Argies or watching the tennis - or indulging in some other hobby or pastime.

Think on that, next time you hear someone mindlessly slagging off lazy MPs.

Yes, they knew it was part of the job when they were elected, and many of the functions they attend will be enjoyable. But the fact of that matter is that they are still "on duty" and have little choice about giving up their entire weekends at the expense of their family life.

It's a choice the rest of us don't have to make.


34 comments:

Tim said...

http://twitter.com/MarkGarnish/statuses/17642596886

Here is a tweet from a Tory-supporting fried about my local LD MP, Ed Davey, who turned up at our school fete today, and was talked into having wet sponges thrown at him to raise money for the school. Then he was off to do a turn in a Panto this afternoon.

As you say Iain, many MPs work very hard indeed.

Fenrir said...

They aren't the only ones who work outside the 9 to 5 box Ian, lots of us do. I have spent most of the day drafting a report I need to have ready for Monday and will no doubt be dpoing more work tomorrow. Not all of them are idle, but a hell of a lot are. Where is the Member for Kircaldy this session, writing a book I believe yet still drawing salary.

RantinRab said...

Yeah Iain, because a gun was held to their heads and they were forced to be MPs.

Iain Dale said...

Rantin Tab. Clearly you could be bothered to read the penultimate paragraph. But why spoil a good old jerk of the knee, eh?

The Purpleline said...

It would appear you still hanker after it though Iain.

And these events are hardly important, I would like to see them in the house on a Friday, why do they only work 4 days at Westminster?

1)MPs do not represent the people, they represent their own parties & careers. If they did represent their constituents then they would take the majority line in parliament. I.e. My own MP Simon Burns should hold a local referendum in Chelmsford and if the people decided
a) Abortion should be abolished
b) Return of Death Penalty
c)Leave EU

Then if the majority in Chelmsford wanted the above he should fight for that in Parliament.

Unless that happens they do not represent the majority view or wishes of their constituents.

AN MP should forego his/her own principles and work on the principles of the voter who put him/her there. That is what local democracy should entail.

Instead we have the same old same old. Further until an MP can be criminally charged for poor performance or parties hold binding in legal terms manifestos they really are playing at it and the UK will continue to suffer.

The Purpleline said...

It would appear you still hanker after it though Iain.

And these events are hardly important, I would like to see them in the house on a Friday, why do they only work 4 days at Westminster?

1)MPs do not represent the people, they represent their own parties & careers. If they did represent their constituents then they would take the majority line in parliament. I.e. My own MP Simon Burns should hold a local referendum in Chelmsford and if the people decided
a) Abortion should be abolished
b) Return of Death Penalty
c)Leave EU

Then if the majority in Chelmsford wanted the above he should fight for that in Parliament.

Unless that happens they do not represent the majority view or wishes of their constituents.

AN MP should forego his/her own principles and work on the principles of the voter who put him/her there. That is what local democracy should entail.

Instead we have the same old same old. Further until an MP can be criminally charged for poor performance or parties hold binding in legal terms manifestos they really are playing at it and the UK will continue to suffer.

Iain Dale said...

Purpleline, I can assure you I don't hanker after it AT ALL. I have absolutely no regrets.

First of all, they do work in Westminster some Fridays. And when they are not in Westminster they're in their constituencies.

Second, we live in a representative democracy, not a mandatory one. Thank God.

Jonathan Sheppard said...

Indeed or the staff of MPs working all weekend to ensure constituents queries are dealt with. But you know those MPs will be off for those Summer holidays when they do nothing for weeks on end.

I gave my thoughts on a similar topic here as you know:-

http://www.toryradio.com/2010/06/29/who-would-be-a-politician/

Liam Rhodes said...

I totally agree. I spoke with my MP earlier on today, and he said he'd be going into the office later on this evening. I can see - as he is my friend - how hard it is to do his job.

The man works as hard as I've ever seen someone work in terms of what he does for his constituents.

Already done surgeries and on his web site it states that he'll come and visit someone at weekends should the time not suit them.

gadfly said...

The fact that these MPs keep themselves busy seven days a week is not what matters most. Courage, reliability, dedication and genuine concern for their constituents are far more important. And these don't get measured by the hour.

cyberboris said...

And the Mayor of London is leading the Gay Pride Parade in the sweltering heat, bless his little cotton socks.

Chris Paul said...

Caught Stringer and Lloyd at a meeting today, both had already done advice sessions and had further appointments in the afternoon. Having said that there are MPs you do less than they ought to for their electorate and for their party, that scarcely attend their committees or the house unless there is a signifuicant division or they want to grandstand in a particular debate or file some specious EDMs .. and there are those with substantial outside interests that take up a good deal of their time. And there is another category too. MPs who work extremely hard much of the time trying to make sure they are re-elected and/or getting their pals elected to councils. Mostly propoganda about rather thin or so what? actual achievements. THAT is not for their constituents or for their area, THAT is for their own good.

All of them are not bad. But all of them are not good.

WordVer "bexuals"

The Purpleline said...

IAIN- If we live in a representative democracy, we should not have political parties & there should be a minimum of 20% independents elected to parliament.

We need to stop what happened last time with Labour which must go down as the worst rotten parliament in the history of these islands.

It was more a dictatorship than a democracy, therefore I would propose real radical change that limits such majorities to provide a check & balance on the executive, which clearly never happened last parliament.

The more I see the coalition the more I like it.Although I fear when Argentina ramp up the rhetoric over the Falklands the liberals will go hiding for cover.

cyberboris said...

http://cyberboris.wordpress.com/2010/07/03/boris-supports-gay-marriage/

when Boris spoke to Peter Tatchell, he said he was in favour of the legalisation of gay marriage. Let's hope many more leading Tories have the sense to say the same thing.

Anoneumouse said...

you mean politics isn't a hobby?

tankus said...

So where is Gordon then ?

Out ...on the job, as he is the man for the job , getting on with the job , doing the job ...in kirkcaldy ?

doubt it !

Hollow Godric said...

I spent the day asleep and am now about to start another 11 hour shift in a busy A&E department. MPs get paid a lot more than me for less responsibility and far better working conditions. Please don't pretend they have it tough.

Unsworth said...

Maybe we should consider the definition of 'work' then - and social life is defined as what?

Do we think this pace of activity will be maintained when Parliament is not in session?

Mid-Wife Crisis said...

It's rare for me to speak out in support of The Boss, but some comments display a lack of awareness that Fridays are spent holding constituency surgeries and attending meetings in the constituency. The Boss (and his staff, including me) also hold supermarket surgeries most Saturdays, and there are usually constituents' events on Friday and Saturday evenings which require his attendance too. These are not usually "jollies" (unlike many of the Westminster events on Mondays to Fridays) but rather are in support of local projects of which he is the patron, or supports. It isn't a 9-5 job. I don't believe that MPs deserve any sympathy per se but, as an insider, I did feel that I wanted to clarify these particular issues.

Houdini said...

My only day off is Sunday and for a lot less than 100k plus if we include expenses. I get no expenses.

I'll save my back slapping for those who deserve it.

I look forward to you congratulating and defending every other person who, simply, does what they are paid to do.

Tomfiglio said...

MPs are paid enough to put them in the top 10% of earners in this country. If they are so busy, how can they do a second job, or write books? Most people earn a lot less than them, and many of us have to work the evenings and weekends to keep the work flowing - and we don't have the subsidised bars, long holidays and freebies to exotic locations. MPs are in no position to complain, and should not expect to be congratulated on simply doing enough to earn their very generous wages.

Libertarian said...

What a load of nonsense Iain.

Lots of us work 18 hour days just to pay our tax bills, with no thanks from anyone and being vilified by most of the country for being evil capitalist pigs.

I really don't think spending the afternoon on a glorious day at a BBQ is exactly equated with doing a shift down a coal mine either

Charlotte Corday said...

So what. I was once a school governor. As well as attending numerous committee meetings and training sessions, I turned up at umpteen school fetes, prize-givings,concerts and all manner of school events. What is more I did not claim a single penny in expenses. In fact, I spent quite a lot of money donating prizes to raffles, etc.

So spare us the sob story.

The Grim Reaper said...

When's your next media appearance where you'll be telling us how hard-working our MPs are, Iain?

Ronald said...

I have lived and worked in 6 constituencies, gone to school or college in 5 and attended various social occasions in more.

I have never seen any of the various MPs that have represented me.

The only events I knew about that gave people the chance to meet their MP were on when I was at work.

But then I am working class and tend to go to working class type of places.

A lot of the work they do is with the aim of getting re-elected rather that making life better for the electorate.

Johnny Norfolk said...

If its such a difficult job why do so many want to do it. There are many people working much harder than MPs for a lot less. From what I see most MPs are more concerned about themselves than the people the represent, and all these " extras" are nothing more than PR.

Gallimaufry said...

Iain,
Thanks a million for reminding me we live in a representative democracy. Thinking that my pig -in-a-rosette MP represents me damages my self-esteem no end.

cyberboris said...

http://cyberboris.wordpress.com/2010/07/03/boris-supports-gay-marriage/

Dick cheney no less agrees with Boris about the legalisation of gay marriage. See the video here.

Mr. Cheney said "Freedom means freedom for everyone". Now that is a beautiful thought.

Unsworth said...

@ Ronald

"A lot of the work they do is with the aim of getting re-elected rather that making life better for the electorate."

Yep, well these people usually regard the two things as being one and the same. Frankly I think Iain has got this slightly wrong. Nobody forces people to become MPs, and becoming/being an MP is a game. It may be that some good comes of all this - but in the past few decades not very much, it seems.

The real public concern is that MPs themselves complain about their hours and conditions - and then use that as a pretext to pay and reward themselves remarkably well, often without any justification whatsoever. 'Duck house'? And the whole thing is pretty cosy, isn't it? Which MP in the past twenty years has seen fit to speak out against wholesale abuse of the expenses system? Which has refused a single emolument?

Many of us socialise outside of 'normal' business hours, as part of maintaining one's business relationships. Indeed it's an essential in many cases. The huge corporate hospitality business is based on that.

Read the schedule for some business leaders and you'll be staggered at the hours they put in and the number of 'functions' they attend. How much holiday do they award themselves?

Many of us give up our time for charitable causes, too. And the vast charities business is based on that.

I think it's time that MPs understood that the hours go with the job. They could always step down, after all. Why do they the sheer arrogance to believe that only they are best suited to this apparently 'arduous' profession, rather than many others who may not spend quite so much time complaining about their terms and conditions. Time to shut up and get on with the job - or piss off.

Kevin said...

ok - so thats what about 6 of them are doing

what about the other 600 or so ?

................................. said...

Sorry Iain, but you've just highlighted a nice afternoon in the sun at a prize-giving, an MP out with his mates in Wales, and a couple of barbecues.

What part of these activities is necessary to hold the Government to account and scrutinise legislation before the House?

Lady Finchley said...

Iain, I don't know why you bother trying to explain things to thse ignoramuses. They are obtuse and just refuse to listen to people who know the score. They think they know about what MPs do but they don't know sweet FA. It is so much easier for them to carry on in their ignorance.

Basil Centigrade MP said...

Edmund Burke may have had only a tenuous appreciation of the role of the branch BBQ in the rich loam of parliamentary democracy, but at least he knew what an MP was for. Thus, Mr Purpleline, your member of parliament owes you

"his unbiased opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any set of men living. ... Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion".

I dare say it is easier to have faith in these notions if Edmund Burke is your MP rather than Simon Burns, but principles are principles.

I doubt very much too that Burke would have referred to the Speaker of the House of Commons as a sanctimonious little dwarf, even if it had happened to be true. They had honour back then.

Carl said...

Speak for yourself Iain.

Home coppers I know are on call 24/7 (especially those with specialist training in the high end cases). I won't mention the paramedics and other medical staff who carry out shifts which would make an MP retch through exhaustion.

And even as a local reporter, my phone's never off and weekends can often see calls coming in which need to be sorted.

Anyway, I'm sure the freebies they still get don't cause them sleepless nights.

And before you leap to your horse, yes, I know some MPs who work their knackers off and I respect them enormously. But there are also those who are undoubtedly such lazy arses, they can't even be bothered to turn up to work to vote...

I won't mention any names as I'm sure you can think of a few...