Saturday, 28 March 2009

A Workers' MP On A Worker's Wage?

Mark Lawson thinks so. George Galloway has made enemies on the Far Left because he doesn't. And no one starves to death - no, not even in London - on the median annual wage for full time work, currently just under twenty-five thousand pounds.

But the first MP to do it would be a pariah. He or she would get absolutely nothing done in Parliament, because no one else would have anything to do with him or her. And there is the problem.


  1. You're right, it's a good idea but the first MP to do would only deserve to be be paid that much compared to everyone else.

  2. Alas so. He could put down Bills, amendments, EDMs, the lot, to his heart's content. All for nothing. And he'd be howled down every time he stood up to speak.

  3. David, I'm a Labour MP not so far from you. Never been off the back becnhes and coming to the end of my time. Take it from me. While I can't come out in public, you speak for a massive body of opinion in the PLP. We're all rooting for you. You're the party of Attlee and Bevin and Bevan all right. Don't let anyone put you off fighting in Durham. We all want to see our party taken back and you're the man to do it!

  4. Now there's a genuinely unique selling point for your campaign - promise the voters of Durham North West that you'll accept no more than £25,000 per annum.

    Mind you, you'll need to have a snap answer prepared for the obvious riposte, which is how you're going to manage to shuttle between Durham and London on a weekly basis in order to do your job properly on that kind of money. "Make a big expenses claim" would be the obvious one (not to mention the most accurate), but it's probably best not to try that line in the current climate.

  5. Anonymous, I receive emails like that all the time. But only ever from people who are retiring or have already retired, rather proving my point. The Labour Party, as such, is finished, and those of us with decades left to go need to start again, pretty much from scratch.

    Tingo, at least until recently they got free first class travel throughout the country anyway. Even their staff did, although that has certainly been discontinued. The salary has never been used to cover travel, and was never designed to. Or housing, as we see.

    Of course, the only reason MPs do shuttle between Westminster and their constituencies these days is because local government has been eviscerated (so that they have to do what councillors used to and should) while so much power has passed to the Executive and its hangers on, to the judiciary, to Brussels, to Washington, to global capital and to the devolved bodies that MPs now have vastly less to do than they had in the past.

    So they turn up in their constituencies opening fetes and what have you, just to fill up their time. Meanwhile, who is holding the Government to account?

  6. The point about retired or retiring MP's is right, David. Like the Northern backbencher (and it could be so many of them) I was sickened by the yes-men and placemen when I was in the House (Tory, prominent select commee, lost my seat). All eyes on you, David, to get us out of the market madness and social libertinism. Don't let anoyone put you off creating a new force for the true majority.

  7. I've pointed out here before, when David announced the sad news that the BPA wouldn't be standing for election, that the ideas on this site are closely followed at Westminster. There's a real yearning amongst principled members on all sides to see David get returned and then force Labour AND the Tories to return to their core values of compassion and community. I served in the Cabinet and I'm sure David is aware of who I am. But he may not know how many I know that I speak for.

  8. Now, now. One thing at a time.

    There are probably several of us this time; I am certainly trying to persuade quite a few. If we can get a few in, then in 2014 or so we can get in more, and then more, and then more. Labour, the Tories and the old Liberal Party all started that way, as federations of likeminded people who were already there, having tapped into the disenfranchisement of sizeable numbers of voters around the country.

    If either of you is who I think, then please email me without delay.

  9. David, I and the two other parliamentarians here are not in touch with each other. Our only link is that we support what you are doing. I believe you'll be prime minister in your 40s. I'm sure of it and so are many of my colleagues. But you must understand that it's not easy to say this and we don't do it lightly. A bit more critical mass, David, a bit more critical mass. Go for it.

  10. Five emails from serving or ex-MPs since 14:19. I had thought one of them was dead, but now I now I realise whom I had had in mind. That one really is dead.

  11. Make that six! I sit for a Welsh constituency. You speak for me, David. Chapel, myself. But spiritual revival is what we need in this country. I'm thrilled that my party is going to be recreated under your leadership.

  12. Wales is a happy and even hallowed land.

    Seventy-four per cent of those who could have voted for devolution there declined to do so.

    Ex-Labour Independents and small parties have lately captured many council seats, captured and retained the erstwhile Commons seat of Aneurin Bevan and Michael Foot, and captured and retained the corresponding seat at Cardiff, all on programmes as far from the economic sectarian Leftism that New Labour used to profess as from the social and cultural sectarian Leftism that New Labour now professes.

    Where that Commons seat was concerned, the favourite New Labour device of the all-women shortlist took a hell of a kicking. A lesson to us all...

    And New Labour is by all accounts in for a pasting in Wales next year, with 10 or even 12 seats set to fall.

  13. I hate to point this out but..........anonymous messages are.....well anonymous.
    Having said that, I did actually get an email from a journo and chose not to believe it.
    Actually he was telling the truth.

    Although in fairness to myself.....I did not really think journalists told the truth.

    I always treat anonymous emails with a certain disdain

  14. Who mentioned anonymous emails? How can there be such things?

  15. Well I was taking my lead from the third comment from anonymous beginning "David Im a Labour MP...."
    So I am glad that you can verify them.
    Actually seeing as you PAY for these people to have the Internet the British taxpayer should INSIST on being emailed by MPs on a regular basis.