George Osborne is the new editor of the London Evening Standard. Now I know this happened last week so is in some ways old news, but is it right? The question is being debated in parliament today at Business Questions with a lot of views on all sides, well from those MPs who bothered to turn up.
Now you have to ask given George Osborne is a full-time MP earning £74,962, earned £628,000 going around the world making speeches to people stupid enough to pay him, earns £162,500 from Blackrock Investment Institute per quarter, on top of a personal fortune of £4 million and 15% of the family business. The Osborne’s also raked in £10,000 per month in rent when living at Number 11 Downing Street, how much money does he need and where does he find the time to be a full time MP?
But this is not just about wealth or MP greed, it’s about MPs having additional jobs outside of their duties at parliament and how they enrich themselves while penalizing the poorest. George Osborne did more to attack the most vulnerable than even Thatcher did, his policies made people in work even worse off than they had ever been.
Now by taking on this role he might have a conflict of interest but what about the people he represents, now I would not wish him on anybody, but surely they deserve better. 312 MPs registered having outside income, this includes members from all parties. 178,453 people have signed a 38degrees petition regarding George Osborne taking on this job, his justification is that votes only happen in parliament in the afternoon, what about the morning? Wonder if I can tell my employer that I am only going to work mornings but they can pay me the same money every month, what do you think the answer would be.
Now some people argue (mainly MPs) that full-time MPs with no outside interests creates a political class, well we have that now don’t we, don’t we have the Oxbridge entitled to rule mob in Government now, they are called Tories, or Red Tories. Some will argue (mainly MPs) that they can make more money on the speaking circuit, or on a board, than being a poor MP only getting the shockingly poor poverty wage of £74,000 a year and a pension 99% of us can’t even dream about, while conveniently forgetting that they wouldn’t be on the speaking circuit or in the board room without first being an MP so their role as an MP becomes their second job and that is wrong.
This post isn’t about the politics of envy, it’s about what’s right, it isn’t about inherited wealth, or MPs coming into parliament with outside interests, such as owning a business, but there has to be a limit on the amount of jobs an MP can have, and what is the right amount for them to do. We don’t want drones in parliament but neither do we want money grabbing bastards, and it looks like we have a few of them right now. Most of those MPs with second jobs would not have them if they hadn’t been an MP so the rules need to be very tight indeed, I would argue that an MP wishing to take on a second job should have to receive parliamentary permission from an independent body before they could take up that post.
There is still a far too much jobs for the boys culture at Westminster, none of us will ever forget or forgive the MPs expenses scandal, and the practice of employing family that continues today as it is plain wrong, but Osborne becoming an editor, on top of a speaker, on top of being an investment advisor, on top of being a partner in the family business is greed pure and simple and I am sure those who have seen their social security cut, being sanctioned for not being able to find a job, being told they are not working hard enough while their housing benefit is being slashed will be delighted that George Osborne is ok, has the time to milk his position even more than any of the rest of can.
This is yet another Westminster practice that stinks, it’s two fingers up to the rest of us who have to struggle every day while post Brexit we continue to become poorer and work harder, it’s jobs for the boys and girls at the top and screw what the plebs think. The more I learn the more I despise our system of Government, it has got to stop and we have got to make it stop. As I said all the parties have MPs at it, it is not right in any shape or form.