There has been talk in the last few days about outside jobs for MPs and how there is likely to be a clamp-down on them. I knew this would come; after the MPs expenses scandal it was a natural follow up.
Some Tories seem to be complaining that any restrictions in this area would disproportionately affect them and that Labour is politicking on this issue. They are probably right but I have little sympathy with them. Being an MP should be more than a full time job. There is so much to do that my mind boggles when I hear that some MPs have second, third, fourth, fifth and so on jobs. I simply do not believe that they are doing their job as an MP to their fullest capability if they have outside commitments like this.
The argument that MPs should have outside jobs in order to allow them to keep in touch with the outside world does not really wash with me either. I fully agree that MPs should have outside experience but that should come before they enter parliament. It is one of the reasons that I think it is a good idea for people to wait a while and live in the real world for say 10 or 15 years before they try to get into parliament. There are lots of other ways for MPs to keep in touch with the outside world once they are there.
It looks like this sort of activity is going to be curtailed now. However I have a suggestion for the MPs who try to defend their outside interests on the grounds of "keeping them engaged with the outside world". If that is truly the reason why they feel the need to do it then they should give all the money that they earn in this way to the exchequer or charity. If they did this, I would still consider it an unneccessary distraction but I would be more inclined to believe their claims.