Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Time To Get Tough On Conflicts

Let's be frank- we've never expected much in the way of personal probity from politicos. Up there in the fetid Westminster bubble, the temptations are many and the egos gargantuan. But some of the things we've stumbled across doing this blog have made us realise that we have been far too trusting and naive.

One recurring issue has been the potential conflicts of interest that inevitably arise when MPs take paid outside employment. We criticised both Ken and DC on that score, and were quite surprised when others reckoned it was perfectly OK- helpful even.

Well, this morning "Blunkett-The Return" is reaching the final reel. And guess what. It's exactly the same story all over again.

It's the dosh you see. According to Nick Robinson on R4 Today this morning, Blunkett needed to top up his funds following that expensive paternity case (I heard NR say it, although mysteriously the recording has yet to appear on the Today website...so, er, hope Robinson isn't in any kind of difficulty...)

Blunkett clearly has to go, but just who do these people think they are?

It's time to ban all outside paid employment for our MPs. If they want to be MPs, then fine. But they owe it to us to give it their complete attention. And not to take any more pieces of silver from that great raft of chancers and dealers who want to buy influence at Westminster.

And just for the record, DD has no outside paid employment.

Update: it's now 10 am and the Today website still hasn't loaded the Robinson piece. Maybe good old Nick is up in the DG's office taking six of the best.

Update 2: it's now 10.30 am, and the NR piece is finally up: "It's a difficult thing to say, but let's say it...Why did he seek money?...Why did he want this shareholding? Why did he give it to his sons? I believe he did it because he had spent their inheritance [on the paternity suit] and he wanted to get it back for them." As simple as that.


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