Cut your hair and get a job

Alison Loat is exceedingly rational in response to the revelation that some MPs have lives.

Most MPs come to public life in their mid-to-late 40s, having spent a generation pursuing other interests, and these interests are not always easily dropped (for example Keith Martin, a medical doctor, still practices occassionally to keep up his skills and credentials).  Furthmore, as the article points out, electoral politics are inherently unstable, job-wise, so asking MPs to “ditch their professions and businesses” will make it more difficult to recruit candidates to run for office, lest they have nothing to fall back on if they’re defeated at the polls…

The concern, of course, is rightfully making sure these outside investments don’t distort the MPs’ priorities or impede them from fulfilling their responsibilties as an MP.  If there is compelling evidence that is happening (which I’m not sure I’ve seen reported), it would be worth questioning whether further disclosure (e.g., the hours spent on these outside interests) is needed, or if it would simply create more paperwork with no discernable difference on outcomes.

Full disclosure: I have, on several occasions, enjoyed dessert at the Future Bakery, which is owned by Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj.