We started off on the worldwide political gamechanger that is/was Labour’s pink bus. However, after that we got down to more serious matters such as the work that Women for Independence have been doing since their inception and what the future holds for them.
We then spoke about more general matters including the surge, the upcoming general election and if the parliament should be 50/50 in terms of gender balance.
In the middle of all that we got into the Cash for Access scandal and some of the other things going on at Westminster.
We also had a look back at the Yes campaign and what its legacy will be.
The biggest reaction to this so far has been that many who have seen it are furious at his suggestion that £60,000 is not much of a salary to be getting on with.
Now, he would defend himself by saying that he didn’t mean it was a bad salary for the plebs (probably not using those words), but rather that it was a poor salary for the type of people that he thinks we’re trying to attract to parliament.
However, I just want to put that quote up again and highlight the relevant section…
“I think also if you’re trying to attract people of a business or professional background to serve in the House of Commons and if they’re not ministers it is quite unrealistic to believe they will go through their parliamentary career being able to simply accept a salary of £60,000.”
The section in bold is what troubles me as it has so many things wrapped up inside it.
Let me spell a few of them out…
Who precisely is trying to attract that kind of people to parliament?
Why would they be considered more useful than other members of society?
Why does it sound like your talking about a job in a business rather than representative democracy?
Does the fact that you are talking about attracting a certain kind of person to a job in parliament, and not about the representatives that the public choose to elect, make a mockery of the UK democratic process?
What does that say about the attitude of the people already in parliament?
I’d say those questions are more worrying that what Mr Rifkind believes to be a reasonable salary.