One of my photos

Found A Job

October 6th, 2008 · Posted by Skuds in Politics · 2 Comments · Politics

I was a little gobsmacked while watching the BBC local news (for London – because that is what Virgin Media think is local to us here in West Sussex)  about Kit Malthouse.  I wasn’t really paying attention at first, so I may be a bit sketchy on some of the details, but as a member of the London assembly he had a hand in setting the remuneration for the chair of the metropolitan police commission: about £30k if someone did it for 3 days a week, about £40k if they did it for 4 days a week and about £50k a year if they were doing it full-time.  He then got appointed to the job and decided, surprise, surprise, that he would be spending 5 days a week doing it.

Not only that, but he already takes £50k for being a member of the London assembly which is also assumed to be a full-time job.  I guess he needs the money since his other job, as chief executive of a ‘fund of hedge funds’ might be a bit precarious. All familiar stuff, and I don’t know why I always get shocked by the brazen way some politicians can accumulate several full-time jobs, each paying a lot more than many of their constituents get as a household (although not necessarily in Kit’s case as his constituents are in Kensington & Chelsea, Westminster and Hammersmith & Fulham).

If I went in to my boss and told him that I was taking up a full-time job, but not to worry because I would still be able to fit in my current one, I think I know what the answer would be; why do we (collectively as voters) let our employees take the piss so comprehensively?  If an employee at City Hall or a civil servant tried to take up another full-time job alongside the ‘day job’ they wouldn’t get very far.

No wonder there is such distrust of politicians. On the one hand they argue that their allowances or wages are totally justified because of the amount of time and effort they have to put in to carry out all their duties and obligations, and then they go and take on several other jobs that could all occupy a normal person’s time completely.  It might just be that they have super-powers or it could just be greed; we can leave that to Occam’s Razor to decide.

At this point it is traditional to mention our Francis Maude, but I just can’t be bothered.

Tags: ··

2 Comments so far ↓

  • skud's sister

    I seem to recall that Mary was not too happy with her local news on Virgin Media – that must be the London news again because she was getting heartily sick of the Mayoral elections that she had no vote for (living in Essex and all). If Virgin Media’s grasp of geography is so poor (London extending from Sussex to Essex) is this because they concentrate their efforts on technology and accounting?

  • Skuds

    She must be well pleased with the blanket coverage of McCain v Obama then!

    I find the whole local news thing very frustrating. We are in the sort of area that is near the border between two TV regions and sometimes the London news is more interesting or relevant than goings on in, say, Margate. I would like the choice.

    Sky TV carries all the BBC regions; a necessity because of it’s mode of transmission. I don’t see why Virgin can’t just do the same. At the very least they could offer a choice of two for areas that are near a border. They can’t be short of bandwidth – and if they are just drop some of those shopping or god-bothering channels.

    And they could throw in a few European free-to-air channels while they are at it. I remember the good old days of the early Sky dishes when you could get Sat 1, Rai Uno, TV5, RTL4 and all sorts of other goodies.