The Scottish Independence Podcast 101 – Robin McAlpine

1221367_origFor the 101st episode of the Scottish Independence Podcast I spoke with Robin McAlpine of the Reid Foundation, The Common Weal and much more besides.

We spoke about some of the ways in which the Common Weal project has moved forward since the referendum, and there is much of note in that.

We also talked about why Robin feels some of these new directions are necessary.

Then we moved onto a more general discussion about what has changed post indyref, and, possibly more importantly, what hasn’t changed.

Hope you enjoy…

This is the direct download link (right click and save as)

You can listen to the show online at its web page

Or you can subscribe with itunes

We can alse be found on youtube

More Than The Money

There was a statement by Malcolm Rifkind that everyone is jumping on and the thing that I find interesting is that most people (but not all) are jumping on the least worrisome part of it.

BRITAIN-ELECTION -RIFKINDHere it is…

“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 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…

  1. Who precisely is trying to attract that kind of people to parliament?
  2. Why?
  3. Why would they be considered more useful than other members of society?
  4. Why does it sound like your talking about a job in a business rather than representative democracy?
  5. 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?
  6. 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.