Don’t let our system design failures wag the parliamentary dog


Gaby Hinsliff’s call in the Guardian for MPs to be banned from second jobs, while well intentioned, would damage our democracy and impoverish our political debate. 

For many, being an MP is a full-time job.  They are committed to working full time as enhanced social workers or hoping to climb the ladder of government or party advancement.  

For others, however, the experience gained by continuing to work outside Parliament is invaluable in informing and improving their role as legislators.  The doctors, lawyers, councillors and entrepreneurs in the ranks of our Parliamentarians bring unique insights to the process of law making.  Dr Rosena Allin-Khan MP, for example, worked on the NHS front line throughout the worst of the Covid crisis, not only helping patients, but also bringing the understanding thus gained back to Westminster to inform the response.

Barring her and people like her from politics simply because we believe ourselves incapable designing a system which prevents crooks and charlatans on the take from making money from their political connections is the tail wagging the dog.

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Radix is the radical centre think tank. We welcome all contributions which promote system change, challenge established notions and re-imagine our societies. The views expressed here are those of the individual contributor and not necessarily shared by Radix.

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