Thursday, June 15, 2006

The EU, management and MPs' salaries

Following on from my EU rant of yesterday, Chris follows up with this:
And any renegotiating is not going to go our way, and even if it did the new treaty would require the agreement of every single other member of the EU. Which is not going to happen, especially if Mr Hague gets his wish and somehow the new treaty contains anything anglo-saxon, since that would never get past France.

We are not going to get a better EU, that produces better regulation.

I cannot stress enough that anyone who thinks that we are somehow going to get a better EU by dint of reform is deluding themselves. It is. Not Going. To Happen.

And, as I pointed out yesterday, the EU is, itself, a pointless organisation because it exists only to regulate; Chris points to this post (by Helen at EU Referendum) in which she discusses an article by Ruth Lea, Director of the Centre for Policy Studies. Helen quite correctly notes the following:
The truth is that these people do not really understand what the problem is. They quite genuinely believe that the way the world, its politics and economy, its social and legal structures, can function is by regulation. There can be no other way. The trick is to find “better” regulation.

This is why they prefer managerial governance to political and why they are so greatly in favour of transnational organizations made up of bureaucrats and lawyers to the messiness of genuinely democratic politics and the free market, the most efficient economic structure but one that frightens those who like to have everything in boxes.

The EU is merely a political construct that embodies in itself these managerial attitudes to governance of all kind. That, I suspect, is the reason why our politicians find it so difficult to accept its failure. Surely, they argue, all that regulation simply needs to be made “better”.

This, naturally, led me to thinking about our government and their managerial tendencies (and, yes, the Tories, whilst not quite as bad as ZanuLabour, are also irritating in this regard). My conclusion is that MPs simply have to much time on their hands, and need to find something to do. The only thing that they can come up with is lots and lots of petty regulations.

So I would like to propose a radical policy: we reduce MPs' pay, from their current £59,095, to £5,000.

Why? Well, it's very simple: if they are having to spend the vast majority of their time making a living, then they will have far less time to bugger about creating laws and regulations to fill their lonely hours. There would also be three beneficial corollories:
  1. Only those who were really dedicated to the job would stand in the first place,

  2. they'd really identify with the poor, and with those in business, and

  3. my god, think of the monetary saving! You would save £54,095 for each MP, of which there are currently 646; that is a total saving of£34,945,370 a year! And that doesn't include the massive savings on pensions. Ooh, and expenses: you could save around £50 million a year on those.

I think it's a fantastic idea, personally. Plus, of course, we would be able to see if these people really would be able to earn far more in the private sector than they currently do as MPs (which always pops up as a justification for their huge salaries and expenses).

My guess is that most of them wouldn't actually earn more, and certainly not when you take expenses and pensions into account. Oh, yes, and the subsidised food...

Unfortunately, this is about as likely to happen as reform of the EU, i.e. fucking never...

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