Monday, 19 September 2011
THERE was once upon a time, a long time ago in a galaxy called election campaigns when the topic of double jobbing was much in the spotlight. Back then a euphemism was devised. It was: “dual mandate”.
Such was this euphemism, that it sort of explained everything and nothing all at the one time, because MLAs were representing the same people twice, but they were elected – presumably – by the same people, hence the ‘dual tag’. We still prefer double jobbing as you wouldn’t want your window cleaner trying to wash your upstairs windows and downstairs windows at the same time [You may wish to think about this metaphor for a wee while...]
Such was the ire of the people on double jobbing that it gave way quickly to boredom after a few politicians [sacrificial lambs?] did pick up their electoral beds and walk to one house only.
But yeah through the valley of media ennui walked 18 MLAs, who still are double jobbing.
We’ll spare them the embarrassment of naming them – also known as us being too lazy to type them all out – but hope that they will hang their heads in shame. Yeah we like a joke.
The Committee on Standards in Public Life – which once upon a time was known as the Committee on Expenses We Can Get Away With – has said Parliament should introduce legislation to ban such electoral double jobbing. If it did so our own Stormont Commissioner for Complaints could tut loudly until MLAs resigned a seat or two.
Until such legislation is introduced the Stormont Commissioner for Complaints can tut all he wants and the MLAs drawing down truck loads of cash (and if it’s not for themselves, think of all the expenses and office staff they can gain!) can continue on their merry gravy train.
But if we were members of the parties with members double jobbing we’d be a wee bit worried: because so long as they’re doubling up on electoral duties, what opportunities are there for new candidates to be blooded on the election trail, or at occupying a comfy seat in Parliament Buildings.