Friday, 26 March 2010

X marks the spot

Jack considers his options as an MP
ARRRGGHH there be gold for those that follow ye old pirate map that shows the way to Westminster…well there used to be!

In days of yesteryear, before freedom of information requests and expenses scandals, politicians seeking your ‘x’ on the Westminster ballot paper could look forward to finding a veritable trove of delights, should they persuade enough of us to ink the appropriate box.

But now the focus is just getting your vote.

And election fever has kicked into high gear, with almost all the candidates poised to hit the stump.

First out of the blocks in launching their campaign has been the DUP, with their errrrr inspirational and snappy ‘Let’s Keep Northern Ireland Moving Forward’ election campaign launched with suitable fanfare in Belfast on Thursday.

And, words came forth from party leader Peter Robinson like “contrite” and “apologise”. Who would have thought?

However, the main announcement was that DUP MLAs who scored with a Westminster seat would have to quit as MLA when they become an MP.

One has to wonder whether they would have taken such a tack had there not been such a public furore.

Let’s hope that all parties seeking an MP’s salary will take a similar course.

And, within the DUP there is an exception to the rule – the Party Leader will be allowed to be both an MP and an MLA should he be elected again to Westminster.

That means he will be an MP, an MLA, Party Leader and, at least for another year or so First Minister. Maybe we’ve got the maths wrong, but that’s quadruple jobbing.

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