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From The Socialist newspaper, 25 February 2015

MPs for hire...

Kick out corrupt politicians

For workers' MPs on a worker's wage

Kick out corrupt politicians, photo Peter Symonds

Kick out corrupt politicians, photo Peter Symonds   (Click to enlarge)

Claire Job, Swansea Socialist Party

What has changed in the two decades since parliament's first 'cash for questions' scandal? 'Nothing at all,' is the answer. Former ministers Jack Straw and Malcolm Rifkind have been caught by reporters from Channel 4's Dispatches programme offering to sell the influence of their public position to a fictitious Chinese company.

Labour's Jack Straw said he "worked under the radar" when being paid to influence decision making on behalf of private business. His rate is apparently 5,000 a day!

Tory Malcolm Rifkind said he was "self-employed" and "had a lot of free time" when negotiating with the undercover reporter. This will come as a surprise to his Kensington constituents as he draws an annual MP's salary of 67,000 pounds paid for by all of us.

But Rifkind reckons MPs' pay is too low. He thinks it would mean "a substantial reduction" in some people's "standard of living"!

The Nolan commission review set seven standards for public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership. You'd have to look pretty hard to find even one of those qualities in many of our MPs. And there's no fundamental difference between Labour and the Tories - they're all in it for themselves.

Rotten

This scandal is yet another example of how the parliamentary system is rotten. Corruption is as easy as ABC, leaving capitalism and the role of parliament starkly exposed.

MPs still have their snouts in the trough, cartoon Alan Hardman

MPs still have their snouts in the trough, cartoon Alan Hardman   (Click to enlarge)

These politicians are completely removed from the people they have been elected to represent - they may as well be in another universe. They have no idea of the problems that face ordinary working people on a day to day basis. Problems that are generated by their capitalist system, that punishes the poor in order to benefit the rich.

An MP is supposed to represent the people who elected them! They should not have any 'outside interests', directorships, advisory or consultative positions with big business. In fact they should receive a worker's wage in order to ensure they are in touch with the real world.

It is hardly surprising that working people have lost faith in politicians. Low turnout at the ballot box is a predictable consequence of the actions of MPs like Straw and Rifkind, which decay further the trust ordinary people have in the motives of politicians.

There is an alternative! The Socialist Party is part of the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) which is standing 100 parliamentary candidates in this year's elections. Socialist Party members, if elected, will only take an average worker's wage, donating the rest of the MP's salary back to the trade union and anti-austerity movement.

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In The Socialist 25 February 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Kick out corrupt politicians

End the housing crisis!

Councils at breaking point: the strategy to fight back

Put the bankers in the stocks!

Defend the right to protest

Them & Us


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

May Day greetings: Implacable resolve of lowest paid

Nine-fold growth for Grimsby Socialists

Campaign news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

Greece: Syriza at a crossroad

Ireland: five anti-water charges protesters jailed


2015 elections

Bristol Greens back 'shocking' austerity policies

Warrington 'vanity project' youth service cuts

With friends like these, who needs enemies?

Election appeal: Funded by you - not by big business


Socialist Party workplace news

Left scares Usdaw leadership in elections

Unison activists challenge New Labour

Socialists in Unison call for solidarity with PCS

How to strike against privatisation


Reviews and readers' comments

When women's solidarity won battle for trawlermen

Worse off than our parents

Fight tuition fees - support the TUSC alternative

TV football deal: Reclaim the game for the fans


Socialist history

50 years on: the assassination of Malcolm X


 

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