Friday, February 01, 2008

Nice work if you can get it.

The rumpus over MP's allowances and especially concerning MP's turning their offices into a family affair has erupted this week after Derek Conway was ousted for having employed his son as a 'researcher' when in fact nobody could find what research he had done.

This newly resurgent interest in the behind the scenes goings-on of MP's offices caused another uncomfortable moment for our very own Adrian Sanders who employs the services of wife Alison and the Lib Dem group leader Cllr Steve Darling doing undisclosed work for an undisclosed amount.

The response to probing enquiries by the local newspaper was initially to agree for the need for transparency but, er, not just now thank-you very much. So apart from what is already in the public domain by law Mr Sanders refuses to say how much he pays his wife or what she does for the money.

His sole defence is that this information is confidential, but I and others say that as he is our MP and his salary, along with nearly all other civil servants salaries are in the public domain, so should the renumeration paid to his wife by you and I. He is quick to comment on the salary paid to the Mayor, and the borough's chief executive, and by hotels to their staff and he can do so because these salaries are published.

For all I know Mrs Sanders could well be paid a pittance for working all the hours under the sun, but he won't say and we cannot make him 'fess up; so I guess us taxpayers who fund this will never actually know. I suppose his refusal to come clean about this tells us all we need to know really because if she was earning peanuts I think he would be falling over himself to say so.

It really would be the ultimate Hypocrisy if, having banged on about Nick Bye not coming up with enough 'well paid' local jobs it transpired that the MP himself had had two or three well paid local jobs that he simply handed out to his mates.

The answer to all this is quite clear, civil servants public company managers and all the other legislators in the western world are banned from nepotism and employing spouses or family is not allowed unless in the most exceptional circumstances and with the closest scrutiny. This is not just to avoid the potential questions of fraud, but it is also because these relationships are usually unfair on other workers; it is just obvious that a spouse is not going to behave or be treated in the same manner as a regular employee by his or her boss and this gives rise to unfairness and resentment.

MP's must decide that their taxpayer funded paid, non-political assistants must be hired on merit and merit alone after a free and open (advertised) recruitment procedure available to all to apply; and family members must be excluded.

13 comments:

Steven B said...

Hear Hear. Do we get to call him an a******e? It's a favoured term amongst the Lib-Dems apparently.

Marcus Wood said...

'fraid not Steven. Favoured Lib Dem language it may be, but politeness and decorum are required on here at all times.

Marcus Wood said...

Mind you, a******e is allowed as long as you leave in all the stars...

Anonymous said...

Didn't your dad give you your job Marcus?

Anonymous said...

I see Anthony Steen employs his daughter Xanthe as a Press Officer.

In 2001 Xanthe posed as a journalist to question her dads opponents. She pumped the Labour bloke for info, but unfortunatly she was recongnised by the Lib Dems.

Marcus Wood said...

I did work for my Dad once... cleaning boats when I was a schoolboy, other than that, no.

Marcus Wood said...

You can't beat the humour of it:

http://newsbiscuit.com/article/queen-admits-to-employing-family-members-293

Anonymous said...

38,000 foe 'managing' a councillor or two; not bad work indeed.

add that the the old mans 62000 and you are looking at over 100 grand for being mr and mrs torbay.

Anonymous said...

What would happen if a single MP falls in love with his/her PA. If they marry Marcus would want the PA sacked!

Anonymous said...

Nice try Marcus to deflect attention away from the shortcomings of your own party! (i.e. Derek Conway MP) The problem when you start flinging mud like this is that it tends to stick to the hands of the thrower as much the recipient! You may have a point about NO MP's being allowed to employ relatives, however, the fact is the issues raised by the dishonesty of one Tory MP are issues that ALL MP's need to address and resolve across parties. Your own leader is actively campaigning for this. And unless you have a specific, provable allegation of mis-appropriation of public funds against Torbay's MP, then put up or shut up!

Stephen B said...

I don't know if these anon are all one in the same character but I hope not. The last post is idiotic and contradictory and frankly embarrassing. The scribe agrees you have a point. Then challenges you to prove misappropriation. What an a******e. He must be a Lib-Dem er, perhaps even our great Adrian "Transparency" S himself?

Anonymous said...

hello steven b a******e or stephen b a******e - not sure how you spell your own name stephen/steven? Maybe it's spelt 'marcus wood' or tory party acTITvist! Either way, you sound like a moron!

Stephanie B said...

Stephen, Steven, Stephan? Who cares anon!

I am neither Marcus Wood nor a conservative. I simply use Steven B as an alias, rather like you and Anon.

However, you're probably an even tempered chap/ess through a chip on both shoulders!

Rool on the revolution so swine like you can be eviscerated. (Big word - look it up!)