Saturday, May 31, 2008

Alternative employment?

The Political Betting site is asking if Labour's dire polling will excite otherwise loyal MPs to seek a change of leader. In the past, the threat of losing their jobs has concentrated MPs minds wonderfully.

I have one question: Has the value that MPs place upon their jobs changed at all? It's a question that is pertinent to my post on the relative value we place upon politicians the other day.

Could Brown be safer than pundits expect because MPs are less likely to regard their job as the best-paid one open to them, or the one allows them to achieve their personal and social goals most effectively? Do MPs regard their job as the key to a high social status? Could Labour have 212 MPs who quietly think that a change of employment isn't as unattractive as you'd think it is? Maybe it's in everyone's interests to hang on to Brown for the time being?

Surely the threatened 212 MPs could get a job as a lobbyist, or work for a pressure group? They could get work as a columnist instead? It'd be less work, less travel, they wouldn't have people poring over their personal expenses making rude, unfounded suggestions about their motives all of the time. They could probably match their salaries with a couple of non-exec directorships and thereby improve their social standing among the kind of movers and shakers that impress the commentariat.

Or could it be that MPs value their social status with different non-metropolitan peer-groups more highly? And is this why the kind of people who do this job are the best people who can do the job?

As I say, these are just questions I have for you.

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