Complaints about MPs’ “second” jobs focus on
- Time taken out of the job of being an MP
- Political influence applied on behalf of the “second” employer
Both points are fair observations. Being an MP is more than a full-time job; it is supposed to be a vocation. The second point describes normal behaviour of MPs: The recent guilty verdict of Owen Paterson’s corruption was a drop in a fetid ocean, both for him and for parliament.
However, a point missed is that MPs (particularly Tory and DUP but not excluding others) become MPs, or are planted in parliament, in order to work for others. Their entire remit is to channel public money into hands of wealth gatherers. Their “second” jobs are their real jobs; their jobs as MPs exist to enable success of their real jobs.
The process that creates plants in parliament varies. A sitting MP might be offered a lucrative non-job, often described as a “consultancy” role, post tenure and she or he starts working for a future employer while an MP; or, an employee, shareholder or co-owner of a large business might be parachuted into an available parliamentary safe seat and continue working for that business while allegedly an MP.
Billions upon billions of pounds are passed on each year to real employers of MPs. Acquiring these funds is the sole purpose of such MPs. Tory party’s key reason for existence is to facilitate transfer of public money into privateers’ offshore accounts.
Necessarily, businesses that pretend to offer work for public services are the greatest beneficiaries.
It is important to be aware that “corruption” of MPs via being paid to lobby government and paid to vote in the payer’s interest, such as Paterson’s recent activities or earlier behaviour of Neil Hamilton, is an inadequate description of how the UK system operates. Most MPs, including all Tory MPs, act on behalf of fleecers who use the public purse as a million acre forest of free money trees, and that is the MPs’ only job.
Recommended reading: Andrew Kersley for Byline