Tuesday, May 19, 2009
I Blame The System
So the ultimate Man of System blames The System.
According to Gordo, The System governing MPs' pay and rations is a failed system. It is A System that has failed to prevent MPs systematically fleecing us for their own personal profit.
So his solution is - yes - A New System.
And the key element of his new system is that MPs' pay and rations will henceforth be determined and policed by An Independent Statutory Body.
An Independent Statutory Body? But who will be on it? And to whom will it report? Even Systems have to report to somebody.
It clearly can't report to Parliament, because we all agree they can't be trusted.
It can't report to the government either, because otherwise it wouldn't be independent.
But we discovered monarchs couldn't be trusted with our dosh, way back in the Seventeenth Century.
Ah! Of course! Taxpayers! Why not have us taxpayers vote on it? We could vote for its membership once every, say, five years. So if the Board screwed up, they could be replaced with new members. And while we're at it, maybe we could get them to take on one or two other duties as well.
Well, job done except if we had this new elected board, we could wind up that useless out-dated pig trough on the North side of Westminster Bridge.
However Gordo's new "independent" board is structured, we have to keep firmly focused on two things.
First, we must insist on total transparency. All the money and perks dished out to our MPs must be fully documented and available to us online. It really is the best disinfectant.
Second, MPs are not underpaid and should not cop some fancy quid pro quo pay rise. As we blogged here, MPs are in the top few percent of the income distribution, and there is absolutely no shortage of applicants. And as the latest report from the Senior Salaries Review Body said, they should be compared to other public sector workers (not highly paid lawyers or bankers), against whom they stack up pretty well.
We might also note, once again, the ludicrous mismatch between the sleazy shambolic performance of our MPs as witnessed over the last couple of weeks, and their claims to be fit rulers over vast tracts of our lives.
Especially when even they now admit they cannot be trusted to run themselves properly.