Thursday, September 10, 2009

EXCLUSIVE Cameron's a Weasel: Business as Usual After May?


AN AFTERTHOUGHT. Will GOO clarify that Cameron's demand that shadow mimicsters give up outside jobs by this December, in the run up to the election, is actually rather more than that. Will this "no dabblers" "give up your day jobs" rule extend for the lifetime of any government the millionaire Cameron leads?

Surely it would be rather counter-intuitive to just do it until elected? And then get back to the three jobs or whatever when they actually have some real responsibilities in office. Though that seems to be what's been announced.

Below is how the Times quoted Cameron back in June. Can anyone find a quote from Cam indicating that this enforced privation - not now to afflict the not-to-be-impoverished "demotion" sufferer Oily Alan Duncan - is anything other than about four months "off" from the day jobs - "setting out our credentials as an alternative government” (D Cameron) - in the run up to the election? Followed by back to filthy lucre business as usual?

Mr Cameron said yesterday that having a second job was not incompatible with being a good MP. “There are idle MPs with no outside interests and there are fantastic public servants that do have them,” he said.
“My Shadow Cabinet have, however, recognised that we are in a particular period at the end of a five-year Parliament, where it does become necessary to demonstrate 100 per cent focus on Parliament, politics and setting out our credentials as an alternative government so they have decided that from the end of December they won’t have any outside interests.”

7 comments:

Evan Price said...

You forget that the rules for ministers is very different to that for backbench and opposition MPs.

Ministers are covered by the Ministerial Code of Conduct which is a successor to other guidance issued in the past. On appointment, ministers are required to give up any interest that could reasonably be perceived to arise between their public duties and private interests, financial or otherwise (see Para 7 of the current guide).

In years' past, this meant establishing blind trusts for assets, capital and money - although Tony Blair changed the way in which operated to enable ministers to retain a degree of control over their own finances.

What is new about the shadow cabinet today is that they have given up outside interests at a time when the law does not require them to do so - as they are not ministers. As far as I am aware, no previous shadow cabinet has gone for such a prohibition.

Chris Paul said...

Hi Evan

First, they're not there yet. Some are doing their extra jobs right up to December.

Second, DC seems to leave the door open for them to resume, presumably within the rules that apply from time to time.

Third, Duncan has got round this prohibition by cleverly getting sacked!

Fourth, I'd wager that this shadow cabinet had more outside interests than any previous SC in history and they're not getting out of "interests" they're just getting out of paid other work for a 4-month period.

Fifth, I think Cameron speaks Weaselish.

Sixth, it may be that Labour shadow cabinets of the 20th century were scarcely encumbered at all by any such paid work, but I'm not certain. This Tory lot on the other hand are at it left right and centre, arguably to an extent incompatible with even being a back bencher in some cases.

Anonymous said...

Get over it CP you are just another, wealth and success envying commie. ""Do as I say, not as I do"", is the mantra of you sad lot.
You'll soon be queuing down job exchange.

Rosie said...

Goodness, Paul. You must be really quaking in your boots after the articulate and scathing dressing down you received from the sharp and witty "Anonymous."

I just love the ability of some of your commenters to ignore the value of arguing points on which they disagree and just go for the jugular instead. It really adds to the quality of the debate. And it's SOOO scary!

Chris Paul said...

Cheers Rosie! Do you have a banana company named after you? Or is it after Rosie Rowen perhaps?

The standard of Tory trollery (and indeed of Lib Dems who used to be Tories too, like Henn) is terrible.

Evan Price said...

Chris

Responding to your point 1 - if they don't get there then there is no need for them to be bound by the ministerial code - and they can resume their lucrative works as they wish (or as they 'agree' in the Shadow Cabinet).

Point 2 - not sure what you are thinking ... of course they will comply with the rules that prevail at the time - and in the light of events over the last 12 years, it is likely that they will continue to be more restrictive than before.

Point 3 - Alan Duncan's a backbencher now, he has no such restrictive guidance that applies to him. What's the problem? Is it that as a backbencher he devotes time to outide interests?

Point 4 - the pont I was making was that what is guidance to the Shadown Cabinet now is required of them if they become the Cabinet ... so they won't be able to resume if they win the election ... and you can bet that the Cabinet Secretary will keep them in line if required.

Point 5 - this is your blog ...

Ppint 6 - what previous Labour Shadow Cabinets have done is not very relevant - in fact I rather suspect that in the past, some have had very lucrative jobs as journalists, lawyers and businessmen while being members of the Shadow Cabinet.

As to your alleged incompatibility - the electorate will have an opportunity to decide on the mores and values of individual MPs very soon...

Chris Paul said...

Hi Evan

Responding to your point 1 - if they don't get there then there is no need for them to be bound by the ministerial code - and they can resume their lucrative works as they wish (or as they 'agree' in the Shadow Cabinet).

Didn't mean they might lose. I did mean it is 16 weeks to go until they must stop 2nd and 3rd jobs. They can still be filling their boots just now. Until NYE.

Point 2 - not sure what you are thinking ... of course they will comply with the rules that prevail at the time - and in the light of events over the last 12 years, it is likely that they will continue to be more restrictive than before.

i.e They will be able to work if they can persuade the authorities and DC that it isn't a conflict.

Point 3 - Alan Duncan's a backbencher now, he has no such restrictive guidance that applies to him. What's the problem? Is it that as a backbencher he devotes time to outside interests?

Yes to the latter. And also huge conflict of interest in job before last, donations, portfolio and outside jobs. I don't believe AD would have been able to abide by decision anyway. He's a maverick and full of himself. He'd think he could manage deals in the ME and putting LP to the sword. He won't mind being dropped.

Point 4 - the pont I was making was that what is guidance to the Shadow Cabinet now is required of them if they become the Cabinet ... so they won't be able to resume if they win the election ... and you can bet that the Cabinet Secretary will keep them in line if required.

The weaselish is carefully worded. Leaves door open IMO for return to suitable second jobs. e.g. after dinner speaking for cash, writing books, perhaps some commercial jobs.

Point 5 - this is your blog ...

Round my way there are a lot more weasels out than usual this year! Seen three in a week. Usually that's a year.

Point 6 - what previous Labour Shadow Cabinets have done is not very relevant - in fact I rather suspect that in the past, some have had very lucrative jobs as journalists, lawyers and businessmen while being members of the Shadow Cabinet.

Perhaps. Though again I doubt the cumulative outside work and wealth came close to these levels. And I do think Cam and the system WILL allow some resumption. e.g. Hague speaking for cash.

As to your alleged incompatibility - the electorate will have an opportunity to decide on the mores and values of individual MPs very soon...

Looking forward to the proper results, not mediated by the DTs!