Sunday, 12 April 2009

A Workers’ MP On A Worker’s Wage?

I am rarely in two minds. But I am on this one.

One does not hear of teachers or nurses on rather less than the annual median wage for full-time work (about twenty-five thousand pounds) dying of starvation in London. And their travel, accommodation and so much else are not paid separately out of tax-free expenses.

Nor, however, are they trying to get anything done in the House of Commons, which would require them to maintain at least polite relations with MPs. Dennis Skinner takes what is, after all, the rate for the job. George Galloway does. Dai Davies does. Bob Wareing does. Tony Benn always did. The only MPs who ever didn’t were Trotskyist opponents of the parliamentary process itself, with Trotskyists’ ambivalence and semi-detachment where the unions and union mores were concerned.

Being a folk hero to the (very well-remunerated) mass media would not in itself get any legislation enacted, or any Ministerial decisions arrived at, or any questions answered, or anything.

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