IT must be nice to cuddle up in front of a nice warm fire on these cold nights with a loved one, secure in the knowledge that they’ve got you covered. Yep, all those lonely nights waiting for debates to wrap up, waiting for constituency meetings to end. All’s worth it when you know your spouse is paying you as his secretary.
And, for those who choose not to employ a spouse, sure you can always throw a few quid the way of a son or a brother to fulfil the secretarial duties.
Pressurised by public opinion, laughed at by the media, MLAs have been forced to open up their financial dealings.
One third of MLAs employ relations. But hey, they almost certainly do a good job – as none seem to have been sacked at any point. Their annual performance appraisals must have all been wonderful.
Actually therein lies the real flaw. If a spouse, brother, son or other relation fails to meet annual objectives or is guilty of gross misconduct, the disciplinary meeting could, at the very least, be awkward.
How would an MLA go about sacking a relative? Would they? The industrial tribunal would be hilarious!