I’ve always believed that in a democracy, people should as a rule choose people like themselves to represent them.
As a consequence, I don’t think being a politician should be a job for life.
People should set out to be something else, then get involved, become politicians for perhaps ten years, and then return to normal life.
Because of this, I urge you to read this article by Benedict Brogan in the Telegraph.
He claims that some of the reforms being proposed at the moment will make it even less attractive for outsiders to become MPs:
Mr Brown has fatally undermined that notion in recent weeks with two changes – one voted through last month, the other threatened – that will transform the House of Commons from a collection of individuals representing the varied interests of the nation, to a cosy home for professional politicians subsidised exclusively and generously by the taxpayer.
I don’t know whether it’s true that these reforms will have this consequence, and I definitely don’t think the status quo is ideal, either.
When I moved to Scotland, I was shocked by the way the media talked about the political class as if it was a separate part of society, rather than a part of us all, so change is sorely needed, but possibly in the opposite direction of what is being pushed through at the moment.