We’re seeing, on both sides of the Atlantic, an attempt to make sure that no one who has ever done anything can be elected to political power. That no one who has fully taken part in – successfully that is – the market economy can be allowed to cogitate on what the law or economy should be. Only those who have risen as scum on the backroom committee system may grasp that brass ring:
Sajid Javid – the former chancellor, once a candidate to lead the Conservative Party, and still the member of parliament for Bromsgrove – has been hired as a global advisor to JP Morgan, one of the world’s largest banks. Second jobs of this kind for MPs corrupt our democracy, which is why they should be banned by law.
Javid is far from alone among senior Conservatives who have had second jobs. Shortly before she was appointed the home secretary last year, Priti Patel was being paid £1,000 an hour as an adviser to a firm that supplies services to the Ministry of Defence, while Jacob Rees-Mogg is in line for £800,000 in dividend payments from the investment fund he founded and which he continued to work for part-time when he became an MP in 2010 (he cut his operating links with the firm only when he joined the cabinet in 2019).
Note that even remaining a shareholder in a business you yourself have started should be banned. Thus anyone who actually knows anything about the market economy should not be allowed to serve.
Zarah Sultana is the Labour MP for Coventry South
Ah, yes, only those who succeed in the backbiting at the National Union of Students may be allowed.
Much the same point is being made in all this shouting about tax returns over in the US. Not just Trump but the earnings of the rest of the family. And, well, pretty much everyone who has had a business career in fact. The entire point of the screaming about blind trusts and all that is to make sure that no one who has ever done anything – likely to be Republicans of course – is ever allowed to run.
Hey, this is politics, grab your advantages where you can. It’s not as if the subject is about competence or anything after all. But we should recognise what is going on, naked position grabbing, not anything moral or even useful.