Philip Davies. Photo: UK Parliament, Chris McAndrew/CC
Philip Davies. Photo: UK Parliament, Chris McAndrew/CC

We need workers’ MPs on a worker’s wage

Mila Hughes, Coventry Socialist Party

Tory MP Philip Davies is being paid £500-an-hour working for gambling firm, Merkur. Davies, who was recently knighted, now provides “strategic advice” to a company behind Britain’s second-largest network of ‘adult gaming centres’.

While working-class people have to fight for decent wages, Davies rakes in £1,000 a month for just two hours of work! His privileged position allows him to profit from the losses of ordinary people, including preying on those who develop a gambling addiction. The company’s revenues surge, primarily fuelled by losses, while Davies enjoys his cushy consultancy gig. And he’s not the only MP that’s getting paid megabucks, on top of their £91k salary. In 2023 MPs were paid £10 million extra in the previous year.

Merkur Gaming’s practices are already under investigation by the Gambling Commission, as reported in the Guardian. A vulnerable customer, Wendy Hughes, battling lung cancer, lost over £2,000 in just 16 hours at one of their venues. Staff allegedly stood by, indifferent to her plight. The company’s response? They blamed their own staff!

The capitalist system perpetuates inequality, allowing the wealthy to directly exploit the labour of the working class. The Socialist Party fights for members of parliament that would champion the mass of people struggling to make ends meet, not cosy up to gambling conglomerates.

When Socialist Party members stand in elections, they commit to take only a worker’s wage to remain connected to the struggles of everyday people, as did MPs Dave Nellist, Pat Wall and Terry Fields, supporters of Militant, the Socialist Party’s predecessor.

Instead of cosying up to corporations, they experienced firsthand the challenges faced by the working class. Imagine if Davies earned the average wage of a warehouse worker or a nurse – would he still endorse policies that favour the 1%?