Monday, 26 October 2009

MPs swap wives for fun and profit

And, curiously, I agree with them:

The wives of MPs, facing the sack as their husband’s parliamentary secretaries and office managers, are hatching plans to defy what they see as an unfair ban by swapping jobs with one another.

They are preparing to apply for employment with each other’s spouses if Sir Christopher Kelly, chairman of the committee on standards in public life, goes ahead next month with plans to ban MPs from employing relatives.

The measure would affect about 200 MPs who employ wives, husbands, children and more distant relations on the parliamentary payroll.

Let me be clear about this: I don't have a problem with an MP employing his family, but it's very easy to be tolerant of a value-for-money mismatch when it's your wife or kid who isn't pulling their weight. And it's probably easier for a spouse to not pull their weight if they know that they they can withhold "favours" or whatever.

And of course, there are doubtlessly many MPs who just use their family "staff" as a way of boosting overall family income.

But if they wife swap, then a little bit of that casual acceptance of poor standards of work will go away and maybe, just maybe, things will get a little better overall.


Beware of Geeks bearing GIFs said...

You are, of course, making the assumption that all of the wives actually do work that bears any resemblance to the salary that is paid.

Chatting daily to your cabal of housewives may not constitute Office Manager under the eyes of the HMCE.

On principle I agree, employ anyone who is up to the task.

But you know, and everyone knows, with the recent troughing behaviour of MPs, this is all about maximising their taxpayer funded lifestyle.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

My take on this is that you probably wouldn't put up with as much shit from your mate's wife as you would from your own, and your mate's wife probably wouldn't take the piss as much with you as she would with her own husband. So things might get a little closer to value for money.

But probably not much.

Tom Paine said...

That's unusually naive of you, Obo. The casual acceptance of what you euphemistically call "value-for-money mismatch" will be as mutual as the arrangement. The MP who fires his friend's wife, will effectively be firing his own. You must be in a good mood today.

Anonymous said...

Obo.. did you really just start a paragraph with that pillar of New Labour speak, "Let me be clear about this" ????


Obnoxio The Clown said...

I did, and felt uncomfortable about it. Thanks for reminding me why. :o)

Constantly Furious said...

Clown, I'm surprised at you.

I do have a problem with an MP employing his wife with my money.

A lot of non-working wives give their husbands support in their job: "having the boss 'round for dinner" or even "washing the old mans overalls" are just the cliched tip of the iceberg.

If 99% of the employees in the land said to their employers: "can I have some extra money - not for me, for the missus, she's very helpful", they'd be lucky to only be laughed at. Why is it different for MP's?

If an MP needs paid assistance, let the bastard reduce the unemployment figures by 1 and find someone from the real fucking world.

If an MP's wife needs an income (or just something to do), let her go out and find a real fucking job.


Obnoxio The Clown said...

I used to employ my wife and she was very good at her job. And it didn't cause any friction and we managed not to bring our personal lives into it.

So it is possible to get value for money out of such a deal, but it is also equally (or more!) possible for it to be abused.

I would have no problem with MPs employing family if it could be proven that they were providing a decent service for the money.

Oh Really.... said...

I think we will find that although they intend to employ wives of others, this contractual arrangement will soon be followed by a job swap arrangement or recharge, and the wives won't actually go anywhere. No change, same troughing use of our money in return for SFA.

I'm almost too depressed to care now, and am amazed at the Clown taking the idea at face value!

Obnoxio The Clown said...

Ah well ... it was an early morning post. :o)