Either the job of a MP is important or not. I happen to think it is and that being one is totally incompatible with holding down another paid role. There are two reasons. Firstly, if you are doing something else then that time must come from the time that you are supposed to be an MP. Secondly, money has influence. If you are being paid more to do something outside of your role as an MP then that is going to take precedence.
I guess there is a third and that is that it is impossible for anyone to separate the two roles. There will always be pressure to consider the effect of your work as an MP on the work of the other paid roie and this is not what you were elected to do.
The latest MP in the firing line is Goeffrey Cox, who managed to earn £400,000 last year as a lawyer, considerably more than his £82,000 as an MP. He is by no means alone as more than 200 MPS declared a second income during the same period.
This raises the question, at least for me, if someone can earn such money from another job then why would they want to be a MP? The answer must be that being a MP opens doors to lucrative work. Rather than a career choice, it is a means to an end.
Of course, a lot of the blame must lie at the feet of our corrupt first past the post electoral system (FPTP). It creates safe seats, rotten boroughs, where MPs don’t have to put the effort in as they will be reelected anyway. This means they have time on their hands. It also means that a government with a majority can do what it likes, creating MPs that, in effect, have little to do with Parliament’s legislative work.
In a more proportionate system, all MPs would have a role to play in governing the country, either in government or opposition.
FPTP is a corrupt system. The latest revelations and unravelling of trust in politicians prove that to be true.
MPs should not be allowed additional paid work.