Friday 25 July 2008

Heaven save us from half-time MEPs

Daniel Hannan, British conservative and independent Member of the European Parliament, wants heaven to save us from full-time politicians.

In his blog he is sending us the following glorious message:
[W]hy do we always call these outside interests "second jobs"? Ideally, they would be an MP's first job. Unable to make a living as a full-time politician, the MP would be far less likely to go native. A legislature made up of working people, who met in session from time to time to prevent the institutions of the state from aggrandising their powers, and who drew no more than a modest compensation for their time, would be far more representative of the nation's temper.
That is the right attitude of a member of parliament!

Why should members of parliament spend time in boring sessions, read detailed reports and background analyses, listen to all sides of a story if they can just come back from sailing, or, aehm, writing, once or twice a month and let their gut speak for the people.

I am looking forward to stories like this:
Hey boss, I will finish building this wall in the afternoon - I have to pass by the parliament quickly to decide on that bill on stem cell research. [...] No, I didn't read it, but I will ask my colleague who works in the laboratory of that big pharmaceutical company. [...] Sorry boss, just this time! Next week they are discussing on foreign trade, that is not so important and I can be with you when we are finishing the second storey of the new Commission building. [...] Aehm, I don't know when we decided this, I must have been elsewhere.
To keep it short: Maybe people who want to continue working in their ordinary jobs should not become members of parliament. Or maybe some members of parliament should have a more professional understanding of what they are doing - not in their own interest but in the complex interest of their fellow citizens.

Not just twice a month, but every day!