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Showing posts from May, 2009

It's not just the expenses that need to change. It's the MPs.

When I was first selected as a Labour parliamentary candidate at the age of 26, I won’t deny that an MP’s salary would have seemed a pretty attractive proposition. Even hard-done-by Parliamentarians tend to earn more than middle-ranking copywriters in ad agencies. I guess you’ll have to take my word for it that the cash wasn’t my primary motivation for thrusting myself into the political limelight.

My opponent was a gent called Sir Archie Hamilton – the then Chairman of the Conservative 1922 Committee of backbench MPs. He had a rock-solid seat in Epsom, south-west of London, and wasn’t likely to be troubled by my challenge as young Labour pretender. (I did actually manage a swing of 12.4% against him in 1997, which wasn’t too bad. To the consternation of the local Liberal Democrats, I also managed to come second. But second, as we all know, don’t mean diddly squat. I didn’t give up the day job.)

The reason I’m dusting off this ancient and parochial piece of political history is tha…