Political Jobs: State Opening of Parliament

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009 - economics, Employment, government jobs, politics

Political Jobs: State Opening of Parliament

Big Ben

Today, is the first day of the year, apparently. You didn’t know? Well, today is the State Opening of Parliament, the traditional start of the political year.

You have to wonder whether MP’s in their safe political jobs have learnt anything in 2009, when the start of their year commences when the rest of us are starting to thinking about Christmas.

The other thing which shocks me about how the “reforms” of Parliament in 2009 have resulted in MP’s being more accountable, means that in the six months between now and the first week of June, the latest date by which a general election needs to be held, they will work only at maximum 77 days. They too must have Christmas on their minds, as Parliament breaks up on December 16th.

In context to the world of employment, in 26weeks the average British worker will be available to work 130 days, which taking out holiday entitlement and bank holidays leaves 116 working days, or around 928hours at an average of 40hrs/week. On average, most British workers do around 10% overtime, so that is a nice round 1000hrs between now and the next election.

Will the average political job MP work 1000hours in this period? With an election coming up, I think so – they want to secure their own employment for the next five years. But with only a maximum of 77days of Parliamentary time between now and June, I doubt they will be spending much of it on securing the same rights for the British workforce.

We have already seen the pre-election posturing in Parliament lately affecting the world of employment, with the Prime Minsiter Gordon Brown arranging a press conference on the points-based visa immigration system, speculated in the media to be a political positioning against the BNP. In the real world, this has resulted in the officials at the Borders and Immigration Agency clamping down on paper work and forms being vetted to a minuscule detail level. It is going to be an interesting six months of everything getting shuffled around until a new Government is elected.

However, its not that that bothers me, its the timing of this election that does. The next six months will be the most critical time with regards to actions that could be taken, that will determine the duration and peak of unemployment that the UK will suffer as a result of the 2008 financial crisis. Yet MP’s will be focusing on their own political jobs, at a time when they should be focusing on ours.

77days or 1000hours, which you use as a measure makes little difference. But the decisions taken in this period will on the steps to recovery. Pity I conclude that those who could make a difference will be concentrating more on the layout of leaflets to secure their own employment, over those they canvas on the doorsteps who will still be worrying about theirs.

Good Luck!


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