Monday, February 23, 2015

Make politicians work for minimum wage

Have to say I'm surprised at the robust defence that Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Jack Straw are putting up after they were caught out offering to sell their "access" for sums in the range of ten thousand British pounds per day.

This is, in polite circles, known as "lobbying" rather than influence peddling or something even more foul, ie bribe taking.

To hear them tell it, no reasonable person would expect a British MP to get by on a mere 67,000 pounds per year. They are forced by circumstance to supplement those paltry pay packets by farming out their insider knowledge and connections to the private sector.

The parliamentarians' poverty wage, inadequate though it may be, is about 500% greater than the wage of a Brit working full time at minimum wage, which millions do, at least if they are "lucky" enough to find full-time work in the era of the zero-hours contract.

The pols argue that higher pay is required in order to attract political candidates of the appropriate calibre. They may well have a point, given the tawdry calibre we've been getting across the so-called democratic world.

On the other hand, enacting laws requiring politicians to be paid minimum wage would soon ensure a proper minimum wage.

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