Wednesday, December 16, 2009

New MPs Will Have More Business Experience

Well, here's some good news for a change. The Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT) has done a survey which shows that contrary to what you might think, the new generation of MPs will have more real-world experience outside politics:

• 20% more prospective parliamentary candidates (PPCs) have business, management or financial services (BMFS) experience (48%) compared to standing MPs (28%).
• Twice as many PPCs (14%) have BMFS experience of over 15 years when compared with current MPs (7%).
• Conservative PPCs have more than twice as much (58%) BMFS experience compared to their Labour counterparts (24%), who in turn have less BMFS experience than the Liberal Democrats (36%).
• More PPCs work in business management or financial services roles than any other employment sector (37%). Over half of the Conservative PPCs studied work in this sector (52%). Roughly a quarter of Labour and the Liberal Democrats PPCs are currently employed in these sectors (23% and 26% respectively).
• 17% of PPCs currently work in politics, public affairs or public relations.

Actually, 17% is quite a lot, but let's not dwell on that, because I think the other figures are actually very encouraging. We need people in politics with real life experience, and according to these statstics we're about to get them.


Dave said...

It's a good idea and about time. Prospective MPs should only be selected from those with experience in creating wealth, not spending other people's money.
I see an obvious snag.
We no longer have the business infrastructure to create the wealth to get ourselves out of this mess, and we certainly don't have anything like enough jobs for all the wannabee MPs to foul up.

I suppose we could send all prospective MPs abroad- to Indian call centres, Asian sweatshops and Chinese metal bashing factories for instance.

Do we have to have them back?

Unsworth said...

Might make a change from lawyers, accountants, doctors and barristers. But what would be the right proportions? There's been enough in the way of attempting to make Parliament 'more representative', and it really hasn't improved the quality of anything at all.

Perhaps we ought to get back to selection by heredity. It worked pretty well in the Lords.

Letters From A Tory said...

"17% of PPCs currently work in politics, public affairs or public relations."

I wonder what the statistic would be for PPCs who have worked in politics, public affairs or public relations at some point in the past....

Liam Murray said...

On no - I fear a thread laden with Tory stereotypes coming on that Labour supporters will love.

"[R]eal-world experience" means more - a lot more - than business, management or financial services. It's preferable, of course, to career politicians with backgrounds as party organisers, researchers or speechwriters for other MPs but can we drop the ridiculous idea that 'wealth creation' is the best experience members of Parliament can bring?

I'd like to think there's a few in there with experience of real poverty or mental illness, work in manufacturing or service sectors, work in the regulatory environment etc.

In fact, given the current state of the economy and the financial worlds part to play in getting it there I'm not sure how comfortable I am with people from that background trying to tudy things up either...

Enlightened Despot said...

What they claim on questionnaire forms and what they have done are two different things. "Experience" may have been short-lived and may not have been at any meaningful level. And there is a big difference between managing/having to make money and being a wage slave in a business.

True Belle said...

Yes, they will all have property portfolios, part ownerships in specialist travel companies, and the slipperiness of car show room owners.

They will probably have served for a short period in the forces, or been on special secret operations, and had a bash at sailing their yachts across the 'oggin' to the States.

A spell of real estate flogging in the Windies/ coco/ coffee/ precious metals in Zambia / and a huge extensive network of similar pals who will vouch for said worthiness!

How easy it is to play with some one elses money when it is not your own, how easy it is to take an enormous rake off from said investments, and then call it your own!

Were we talking wealth creating or some thing completely differnt?

Will these worthy PPCs be able and confident enough to knock on a front door in a fairly neglected part of a town, and convince the owner that a new government can work for them?

Will the PPC whiff of good grooming and careful personal well being be able to stand still and discuss the imbalance between haves and have nots?

Most CVs are damned unreal for the tasks demanded of a constituency MP, unless of course they are exceptional bods!

True Belle said...

As an after thought, I have met some really brilliant Padres who would treat Parliament as a calling!

I also know some equally amazing elderly men /mid seventies, who have an accumulated wisdom and knowledge of life and industry,now they would would knock spots off these young wannabe pretenders.(PPCs) ( and cost the country less money by virtue of less greediness and demands on expenses etc)

Ralph Hancock said...

A very valid point made by Liam Murray.

We have a parliament largely mnade of people with backgrounds in officialdom, public relations, and financial services.

In other words, people skilled at maladministration, deception, and self-enrichment.

Which is exactly what they have done.

In retrosepct, it would have been better to recruit MPs exclusively from drug dealers, whose efficiency, honesty, and care for their clients is superior in every way to that of the shower we have actually got.

FireForce said...

Along with business let us hope there is a lot more common sense!
Common sense to let people get on with their life without too much, or any intervention by nosy politicians, i.e. let us get on and enjoy things that have been denied us in the past, like fox hunting, Pistol-shooting, and anything else that improves the quality if our life.

Jimmy said...

Because of course, no-one can claim to have truly lived until they have worked in financial services.

Anonymous said...

Well let's hope they understand the sheer business folly of lending money out at 0.5% interest and borrowing it back at 2.5%

The Future Is CAncelled

Anonymous said...

This is possibly a stupid question but by whose criteria does experience in business automatically mean 'experience in real life'?

If I said that being unemployed was the only criteria by which 'real life' could be judged i'd be shot down in flames so why does the reverse not apply?