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Snouts in the snout-shaped trough again

The new MPs’ Expenses Scandal | Trending Central.

Both the law firms where I was a partner had anti-nepotism policies. We couldn't employ our own or each other's relatives. If we married someone from the firm, one of us had to leave. Why? I am sure it was often the case that, as these MPs who have never been in the real world say, that we could have trusted our wives or husbands or sons or daughters "over anyone else". It would always have been true that " is far easier to employ someone you know that get someone else in...".

Our legal advice to ourselves was that as predominantly white males, if we recruited our own families we would be liable to be accused of race discrimination, for example. Our business advice to each other was that the inconvenience of being forced to look outside our family circles would be balanced by an increase in mutual trust, an ability to critique each other's teams when necessary for quality control and a generally higher standard of staff to better serve our clients.

So we went to the market and tried to find the best candidates we could regardless of race, colour, creed or sex. Meanwhile, our legislators carry on as if they were unaware of the regime they imposed on British business. They behave like the parodies of cruel Victorian employers they seem to have in mind when they 'regulate' us. And it goes without saying, isolated as they are from the realities of a competitive market place, that they don't give a tinker's curse about quality. If they would even recognise it that is. From what I see of them, when they are not actually being malicious and/or corrupt, they are mostly just bumbling narcissists.

Were they just taking the piss when they passed these laws? Or when they enacted a minimum wage but pay any staff with whom they share no DNA carrots or hire them for nothing as 'interns'? It's hard to believe they are sincere about their laws when they flout them at every opportunity when their own financial interests are at stake. They love to pontificate about celebrities and sportsmen being 'role models' when that will get their ugly mugs on the goggle box, but what about the example they set? Hypocrites to the bone, the lot of them.

I can't say this too often. It's not a bug, it's a feature. Everything funded by force - and that includes Parliament - tends towards corruption. Only those who can't be a successful beast in the jungle of the real world are attracted to the parasitic delights of living on the jungle fauna. And usually only those with serious character defects are attracted to the exercise of power over others, rather than freedom in their own lives.


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james higham

Everything funded by force - and that includes Parliament - tends towards corruption.

Ne'er a truer word, Tom.


Ah, the Princes of Westminster!

It isn't that they think the rules don't apply to them-they are certain they don't!

And when they finally make a decision (no attack on Syria-an act of war no matter the spin put on it)which the majority of the populace supports, they wish they hadn't!

How our rulers love to pose on the world stage!

Happily, Blair spent any popular support capital on the last fiasco-none left for his imitators to spend.


I have expressed myself badly. I don't think there should be *any* laws restricting employers' choices. If they want to staff their businesses entirely with redheaded cousins that's their choice and the same should go for MPs. My point was about hypocrisy. These people have imposed so many rules on others that the HR department of the law firm I retired from was bigger than the law firm in which I was trained. Yet they don't think the rules apply to them.


Ramifications is the real awsome word, the other was a typo - duh! Also "bisiness" nuh!


I agree so-called "nepotism" would probably be a bad thing in a public company, or government organisation. I can see it might be good to be fair in employment policy.

I can see with a partnership you might need to agree "a" policy with the other partners, it not being just your money and business.

Maybe I am playing devil's advocate just a little here, but if you own a business what is intrinsically wrong with employing someone you know, or family members? After all it is your business, and your money.

As for MPs employing their spouse, well it depends on how you look at it. If you see their office as private and their bisiness as being an MP then Is it wrong? If you see it as them hiring their spouse as some kind of a civil servant then it is questionable.

MickC makes a really good point. Are they working, or is it a scam to defraud the public purse? That is the real question. And tho they are called "Honorable" for some weird reason they can't be relied upon to be that at all.

As for laws and MPs they are always passing laws without thinking them through properly. It is a shame as it is their job to follow through the remifications (awsome word) and implicationsmany moves ahead like a chess master. Not just to rubber stamp laws their party orders them to.

Bill Primrose

I have not worked in the Legal Profession, nor in politics, but I can't help noticing the number of MPs who have love affairs with staffers, and a number go on to marry the staffer in question. This is probably because of the one-to-one working relationship over long and unsocial hours resulting in turning to each other for physical comfort too. So quite often the wife who is employed by the MP has been the employee before she was the wife. Being the wife who understands the job first does not in my view disqualify her. Nor does being the daughter/son/friend as in my experience of running small companies (max 10 employees) I could rely on a young person whose parents I knew as much if not more than I could rely on a well qualified person with whom I had no previous connection. You'll have gathered from this that I don't see a general problem in MPs employing those who are close to them - if they don't do a good job then the MP will get "unelected" next time around


Don't know that I agree with you on this.

The key point is surely whether the secretary actually does any work-not whether they are related to the employer.

If no work is done-then its a scam. If work is actually done, where's the problem?

The MPs job is unlike practically any other. There cannot be peer review-it just isn't possible in the nature of politics (and I've always thought that its a trendy managementspeak type thing anyway-more window dressing than substance).

Surely the people to have the say are the voters-which no doubt they will if they think their MP is taking the p*ss.

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