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"Better to be part-time wise than full-time ignorant."

A statement of total arrogance. We need fighters not smart arses.

If, at this late stage in the Parliament, a Front Bench Tory MP is not hungry enough, angry enough, committed enough to devote 100% of his time to kick out the rotten Government then they are playing politics, not fighting in our name.

I'm not sure if the part-time politicians in the Shadow Cabinet haven noticed, but ConHome's poll of polls has Labour with the most seats.

Oh for the days when Shadow Cabinet anger at the Government was an inner emotion and not a stage direction.

Funny moment on Today this morning when Sarah Montague said "Shadow cabinet ministers have 26 outside dictatorships". Fortunately John Humphrys corrected her!

A statement of typically smug arrogance from little Alan Duncan, one of our most ineffective frontbench performers.

He may pause to wonder why he has not held ministerial office during his 16 years in Parliament. I suspect he does not care.

Either they 'want it' or they don't. The electorate can smell this. Too many of them-Hague included- give the impression that politics is a part time hobby.

Quite agree with GBE's comment. Sometimes I wonder whether its only David Cameron and one or two others who are really prepared to make the sacrifices which are needed to win.

Why doesn't Alan Duncan resign from the shadow cabinet and become "full time wise" rather than his current modus operandi which is "full time arrogant"?

The idea that having seats on boards of merchant banks or lucrative book deals means we have a shadow cabinet "in touch with real people" is ridiculous. That's what they have constituencies for!

Alan Duncan has a part time approach to politics and it shows. What a fool. The problem is that there are too many like that. There are target seats starved of visits from shadow cabinet members, what a shower.

Perhaps the time has come for Con Home to shift its focus directly onto those MP's who are not giving 100% or who feel that doing their day job full time is a tad too much or too difficult. This level of complacency not be tolerated. I for one would be interested to see the head of Alan Duncan's Local Association answer some tough questions to justify why they continue to back an MP who displays such a lack of interest in doing the job he was elected to perform. It might be that changing the focus towards holding the local executive to account is the very thing that tips the balance in removing these pitiful representatives.

Local memberships should start to exercise their authority and challenge any unacceptable levels of complacency within an association. Chairmen, and Political Officers who support the stance of these MP's should be de-selected and more vigorous candidates elected to hold the MP to account. We need to focus on breaking what is rapidly becoming an organisation within which it is acceptable to be timid and meek. Either you want to have a Conservative government with representatives who represent you and hold people to account or you do not. MP's who are giving less than 100% should be shown the door.

Oh - and get shot of Hilton as he does not represent value for money.

There should be no bar to being in business whilst still representing the constituents as MP but it is for the leader to decide who he picks for the shadow cabinet. Such a decision can only be made on an individual basis after considering the in's and out's, especially in terms of how much time a shadow cabinet member can dedicate to the role?

If the leader happens to be satisfied with the decisions he makes on appointments, then that is enough for me, providing their duties ( and attendance to parliamentary matters ) isn't being affected in any way.

Meanwhile, I prefer to retain faith in the leaders decisions as opposed to mindlessly squabbling about it and I prefer to let him get on with the job only he is best placed to decide.

Clock cards installed at the Commons however would be handy for all MP's and not just Tories. It isn't our fault after all that Labour MP's are too thick to run businesses ( OR ) government. As for Alan Duncan, he's right what he says he's just wrong in the way he says it but he's still right, and so is David Cameron, but like a few others here, I'd like to see some gutsy policies coming out from people who look and act as if they are mildly interested in the job they have, which is simply to win or fail at the next election and either run the country or their business, as I don't think ministers can do both.

I think we need shadow ministers who punch above their height.

i'd rather have the talents of 50% of William Hague than 100% of the talentless backbenchers that would replace him if we banned outside interests.

I think the point is, class act, that we need 100% of William Hague - and all shadow cabinet ministers - if we are to defeat this government at the next election. No ifs, no buts, all hands on deck.

Does having outside interests not bring the Opposition front bench more into touch with the real world than they might be if totally immersed in Westminster politics?

Being a Shadow Government cannot really be a full time job.

My point, John Scott, is not that 100% of William Hague isn't preferable to 50% of him but we risk having 0% of him if we go down the 'frontbenchers must be full time' path.

There are many people who complain loudly about MPs "..who have no experience outside Parliament and who need to have carried out a `proper job` in a real-life context..." to be able to bring a wider range of skills to the task of government. I whole-heartedly support that view, as I suspect do some of the earlier contributors to this post who are seeking to have it both ways!
If MPs have outside appointments, the key is to know how and when to concentrate their efforts on the task in hand.
I think that MPs need to have a degree of financial independence. They must avoid at all costs the frequent allegations that they are milking public funds and spending public contributions in an inappropriate way, because they have no other means of financial support. Money earned outside Parliament is a proper alternative source of funds that will allow proper expenditure that can not be supported otherwise; and by that I mean from pay in a recognised appointment rather than from retainers paid by people looking to exert influence on our law makers.
Furthermore when in opposition, Party funds do not support Shadow Cabinet members sufficiently to support the research and briefing staffs needed to allow them to combat Government spokesmen/Ministers who have the full range of Ministry staffs to back up their work at public expense.
It is important to avoid conflict of interest, but the Party Leader and Chief Whip should be alive to potential problems and act accordingly.
The last thing we need to represent us is an MP/Minister, many examples of which exist in the present government, who has followed the progression of school, university, Party research Department and then Parliament. It is just not enough to allow a proper job to be done.

It is obvious now that you have a Shadow Cabinet of Members of Parliament who entered politics to serve themselves rather than be public servants.

I have seen one shadow cabinet member, who is known to have kept up several directorships, routinely leaving the Commons at around lunchtime and heading off to the City for his second job. I know from people that are on his Shadow team that there is a feeling that his very lacklustre performance in that role is widely attributed to his mind and engery being elsewhere.

There still seems to be this 'one last push' mentality to winning the next election when in fact it is far from sewn up. For the first time since David Cameron became leader it feels like the Government are firmly in control of the agenda and right now it is Labour that seems to have the most hunger for power.

This close to a general election, it's time for all shadow cabinet members to thank their boards for 10 comfortable, well-paid years of outside interests and get their eyes on the prize, full-time.

Few things could create a worse Tory image than the public perception of a part time opposition front bench, many, but not all, of whom also have private means, being paid a full time salary which, though not generous, is certainly not a pittance by most ordinary people's standards.

At a time when the whole nation is being asked to make sacrifices and to work harder for less money, the self centred whingeing of some senior Conservative politicians sets the worst possible example.

Whilst giving up outside emloyment whilst on the opposition front bench may mean a temporary drop in income for some of members, in many cases this will be offset by lucrative subsequent part time appointments when they leave the front bench.

Sadly, nor only does this damage the Conservative party, but it also casts doubt upon Cameron's leadership. Ever since the Grammar schools stromache he seems to be terrified of internal dissent within the party. Consequently, what is now passed off as party consensus is, all too often a policy of appeasement of minority interests within the party.

At a time when CCHQ are ordering our PPC's to curtail their "outside" activities in preparation for a General Election I find it ludicrous that the Shadow Cabinet are not leading by example and concentrating more on doing their jobs in Parliament, rather than lining their nests!

One rule for those already in the House and another for those who aspire to represent the electorate, methinks!

Get a grip and get on with holding the Government to account, not boosting your already fat bank accounts!

What's interesting about this story is not that the shadow cabinet won't take their snouts out of the tough unless they are dragged from it; that's hardly surprising. What's interesting is Cameron's inability to demand it of them, which shows an extraordinary lack of political courage, or else a complete lack of loyalty and commitment amongst the shadow cabinet. Probably both. It doesn't bode well for the country when he gets in.

It is not good enough. Outside interests are not acceptable when millions of people can't find any work. These outside interests are often on the back of their political status and it just is not right morally.

Money talks!


@ Chris Heathcote

I know the MP to which you refer. He would wet his pants if he lost his seat, which frankly he deserves to. And he expects activists to swarm down to his constituency during a general election to put in the hard work which he refuses to match !

I have never liked Alan Duncan, a smarmy smart-arse to my way of thinking. His snide remark has proven that my judgement was right. He is a man I would vote against if I lived in his constituency.

How can these people expect the ordinary members/workers of the party to give 150% commitment into winning when they seen reluctant to give even 50% ?

It is quite simple really. No-one is saying "no outside interests ever" as clearly real-world, non political bubble experience is essential (see Osborne) but in the 18 months before a general election, clearly the Shadow Cabinet should be devoting 100% of their time to winning the election.

If you lose the next election, 'part-time politicians' will be a reason given at the inquest.

Whenever I see the phrase "snouts in the trough" I know that the comment in question is not worth reading.

We need to look beyond the trite parrot phrase and aspire to a higher level of thought.

@ Steve Foley

We have made ZERO impact with the electorate on what should be very fertile ground of Labour post office closures.

For that, we have Alan Duncan to thank.

Are all these correspondents supposed to be Tories? I thought not. Haven't we had enough of of a government that hasn't a clue how business works, and has difficulty running a bath let alone the proverbial whelk stall. (Anybody else writing here actually know what one of those is either?)

If you want public service trained, professional politicians, just look at the present Cabinet, to say nothing of Gordon Brown, and wonder why they have made a complete pig's breakfast of everything, as have every Labour government since 1945, to my personal knowledge and cost.

I want a Tory government that knows how the rest of the world ticks, not just one which will bend to every daft whim of every half-baked pressure group. We've had that too often in the past fifty years, and IT DON'T WORK.

As we failed to convince the electorate of the dangers of Socialism, and look at the problems that has caused since 1997, are we also to fail in telling them that experience of real life is also important in a politician? And look at the problems that has caused since 1997 too!

Any subscriber to this blog doubt we've had a Socialist government since May 1st 1997? Wake up my friends and smell the ordure!

The outside jobs politicians do are not "real jobs" connecting them with "the real world". Let's not kid ourselves. The idea that the public benefits from William Hague writing a book on Wilberforce or Andrew Mitchell working part time for a merchant bank is ludicrous.

If politicians wanted to connect with the real world why don't they volunteer a day a week working in their local primary school or post office? Or do a few days with the local Citizen's Advice Bureau during parliamentary recess?

The motivation is clearly financial. There's nothing wrong with that, but I do object to people who say MPs take on these roles out of some altruistic, Mother Teresa like, need to serve the people.

It strikes me as slightly absurd that highly paid City boardroom jobs and £15K a time speeches are somehow equipping our front bench with some great understanding of the British people and their concerns during a recession.

It is fairly straightforward: if we are 100% serious about winning, there should be a 100% commitment to the Party.

From now on I am going to consistently mark down in the ConHome surveys every shadow cab member with extensive outside interests.

My current main ones are

William Hague
Alan Duncan
Francis Maude
Oliver Letwin
Philip Hammond
Jeremy Hunt
Andrew Mitchell

Also George Osborne will be marked down until he focuses 100% on his shadow Chancellor role.

In all of their areas we have been punching well below the average.

I suggest all ConHome folk do the same, but who have I missed out? Anyone included who is really full time?

HF - you are definitely onto something. Chris Grayling, by far the most effective member of the shadow cabinet, has no declared outside interests. He is therefore able to focus full time on defeating Labour.

If only we had that commitment right across the board.

If Cameron's Tories are only going to fine tune the policies of Blair/Brown (which were by no means Socialist Alan Carcas), as Heath fine tuned those of Wilson once he got cold feet over the Selsdon Agenda, then what's the point? Dour looking Scotsman with an English surname in a pale pink shirt is replaced by Smiling Englishman with a Scots surname in a pale blue shirt. Plus ca change!

If the Tory Party had the guts and the motivation it could drive a wedge between itself and Labour to its advantage. First drop all this Green crap, (bring back the Torch of Freedom Logo instead of that childish daub), promise a Referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, and abolish the ban on smoking in Clubs and Pubs. The latter is not earth shattering but it amazing how many people across the social classes resent that law to say nothing of its adverse effects on a good old English institution, the local pub! There are many other polices it could reinstitute or adopt, Grammar Schools being one of the most prominent.

Labour will cane the Conservatives with the "Do Nothing Party" slogan and it will stick.

The present Tory Leadership reminds me of the dog in Aesop's fable which had a bone in its mouth, sees a larger one in its reflection in a pond, opens its mouth to get it and of course loses the REAL bone and is left with nothing. By pandering to all sorts of minorities in the quest to be seen as "Inclusive" Cameron risks losing his core support who may either abstain or support Right Wing Parties such as UKIP or BNP. These two won't win any seats under first past the post but could take sufficient votes to keep Labour in if in a Marginal, remember Crawley and Harlow to name but two in 2005 where Labour held on by their fingernails and the UKIP vote was far higher than their majority.

I would hate to see the Tories snatch defeat from the jaws of victory owing to insipid polices and inertia Leadership.

I completely agree with Alan Duncan, I would much prefer to have faith in someone who is in touch with the outside world and what is happening within the business and commercial sections, they are in touch with the anxieties of the people. That is what is wrong with the proffesional politicians who ( mostly in labour party,!)in many cases have no idea of the thoughts and practicalities of the electorate. I applaud our politicians who have the finger on the pulse of our working country and not just idealists dreaming up some impossible scheme!

This is weakness caused by a failure to face up to the Osborne problem. Cannot afford to sack the wastrels because have to protect GO at all costs.

I usually refrain from making negative comments about senior party figures on here but I have to agree that if it is not sufficient for an MP to be in the Shadow Cabinet, they should decline the offer of the position. We need full time politicians who are learning to be government ministers. if we were way behind in the polls I would be more sympathetic, but we really could and should be in office in 2009 / 10. It is time Hague and others prioritised. As for the comments from Alan Duncan, it shows how arrogant and aloof he has become.

Posted by: David | December 23, 2008 at 11:25

Whenever I see the phrase "snouts in the trough" I know that the comment in question is not worth reading.

We need to look beyond the trite parrot phrase and aspire to a higher level of thought.

It's what the general public sees; greedy politicians who are more interested in lining their pockets that concentrating on their briefs. So, perhaps it's not so trite after all.

It's ammunition for the Labour line of do-nothing Tories who are so selfish and consider their political appointments to the Shadow Cabinet so unimportant they aren't prepared to make a small sacrifice in order to do their best for the country. It's shameful. As for the argument that they need some experience of "real work" - if they haven't got it by now, it's a bit late.

It is no surprise that some of the more able Tory MPs are among those who can secure significant outside employment and combine it with the demands of representing a constituency and performing a job in the Shadow Cabinet. I'd certainly rather have half of Oliver Letwin's time than all of almost any back-bencher's.

Those who advocate banning outside interests should try need to go to the trouble of seeing how good a team they could assemble from amongst the small band of MPs already in that position. I suspect it will look rather like a Second XI.

Stephen

You are joking ? - Cameron has already got the Second XI

John Scott, I agree that Chris Grayling is one of our top performers. He is very focused unlike half of the rest.

Regarding the comment about half a Letwin being good, you must be joking. It is because of Letwin's part time antics that Osborne has been distracted away from his main role.

Replacing Letwin (and Spelman) are key to helping Osborne re-focus.

What matters is how well the job is being done. Nothing else.

I know lots of people that do two jobs, even two really important jobs like this, and do both as well some some people manage a single job.

I don't think we should enforce a 'one size fits all' rule here. If they aren't doing their job properly and it is deemed that outside influences are to blame, by all means ask them revise their employment commitments.

But if they are doing the job well and effectively, penalising them by making them drop another interest seems like a pretty stupid way to deal with valuable MPs to me.

We really must not tear ourselves apart over this... It is the government who need to be the focus of attack!!

I think front benchers should be full time - it is not a simple overnight thing to impose - but a plan needs to be put in place to move to this state of affairs.

How much money would (say) William Hague require to give up his outside interests and work full time?

Once we have his price we can see if we think it is worth it, and then work out how to raise it...

Either we can afford him (and others), or we can't.

I think this article highlights a serious problem for the party, particularly at a time when serious preparations should be being made for a possible spring election. I think David Cameron was right to call for a ban on outside interests such as public speaking etc and to call for a 100% concetration on fighting Labour and the newly confident Lib Dems. However we have Shadow Ministers such as Alan Duncan spouting pure rubbish and arrogance. In a way he deserves to loose his shadow ministerial role particular at a time when 'real' people are loosing there jobs by the thousands. Also I think it is time for more Conservatives from middle England backgrounds to be placed on the Tory Frontbench. Two big names that spring to mind are David Davis and Ken Clarke. WHist Ken's views on Europe may concern some, however I'm sure he would recognise that the financial crisis engulfing is far more important than Europe at this time, and yes I may be a constituent of his, I firmly believe he's the only Tory MP that can save us from a financial meltdown. David Davis another commited MP should be brought back either to the Shadow Home Secretary position or to replace the non-commited Alan Duncan or the ineffective Francis Maude.

This is very depressing news.

If Cameron isn't tough enough to stand up to his shadow cabinet it doesn't look promising that he'll be tough enough to make the difficult decisions as PM.

Would the loss of the likes of Duncan and Letwin be a bad thing? People like to see hard work and commitment not a buch of dilettantes.

As to Duncan being 'part time wise' from what I heard from him re Jaguar he seems to alredy 'full time ignorant'.

An important factor affecting the work load of MPs is the fact Parliament will only sit for 126 days next year. This is abysmal and was set by the Labour Government. As most of our laws are now composed and implemented from Brussels, many MPs could go part time. Do we really need so many?

Seriously, our Shadow Front Bench must gather their strength and show fight, vigour and determination to bring this dysfunctional Government to book. They must be determined to challenge the Government's Executive at every turn and make them accountable. They must metaphorically blow holes in their profligate policies.

I am sure the electorate will want and enjoy seeing the Shadow Front Bench tearing away at the Government. They are absolutely fedup listening to a PM who believes he saved the World. It is certainly time to put this 'superman' to the test. Prove he is wrong, prove he is a danger to our country.He has ruined our pensions, ruined our savings, ruined our currency and ruined our economy. Brown's policies amount to complete financial vandalism, his mania must be exposed.

Surely the point at issue is that we, the constituents, want to have chosen to represent us in Parliament men and women who have professional qualifications and careers behind them, and so can speak with experience. Once elected, we need them to work full time for us. If the MPs don't and nip off to the City or somewhere else, at that point their constituents are unrepresented in Parliament. If unsufficient salary is the motive for MPs working elsewhere, I would say "Enter Parliament when you have experience to offer and have earned a sufficient amount of money to work full time in the House."

John Parkes makes an important point in saying that, if MPs are to have other jobs, these should be proper responsible appointments, demanding genuine commercial experience and ability. There are far too many examples of MPs enjoying over-remunerated non executive sinecures, awarded not upon the basis of their commercial experience or skills, but upon their employer's hopes of gaining political influence in the right quarters.

There is also a great difference between experience of the 'real world' gained from working in industry and commerce and that of the city institutions (a favourite choice of MPs from Edward Heath onwards) who clearly, until very recently, lived in a fantasy world of their own as remote from the ordinary people as is Westminster itself.

There needs to be some sort of understanding as to what work's being done by a serving MP. I really can't see any problem with an MP doing after-dinner speaking or writing a few articles for the press. These hardly dominate time, or at least I'd hope the engagements would be few and far between for an MP that really can't communicate. That's a world away from taking a part-time job - Shadow Cabinet ministers already have two, as a constituency MP and as a Shadow Cabinet minister. A third benefits only the MP.

With Brown finally agreeing to allow the Conservative Party access to the civil service, there does need to be more concentration on hard policy. Shadow Cabinet ministers cannot sit by while the Party fall in the polls and Labour rises - no matter that the Conservative Party remains in the lead - and blame anyone but themselves for that turn of affairs. The Party can make its own fortune if it works at it, and isn't reliant purely on external factors.

The idea that working two days a week in the City is compatible with being a constituency MP and a Shadow Cabinet minister during a truly dreadful time for the economy is nothing more than ill-disguised greed. MPs should take their pick - Alan Duncan's well proven that he is a successful businessman. That doesn't mean he can keep being so and still sit in the Shadow Cabinet. At some point a choice does need to be made, and he, like a lot of MPs, is choosing the wrong one for his own, not the Party's interests.

MPs should decide whether they really wish to govern, or whether this is simply a hobby to keep them busy. Outside interests of course should not be barred, but they need to be at a reasonable level, and compatible with a Shadow Cabinet minister's and MP's jobs.

John Parkes makes an important point in saying that, if MPs are to have other jobs, these should be proper responsible appointments, demanding genuine commercial experience and ability. There are far too many examples of MPs enjoying over-remunerated non executive sinecures, awarded not upon the basis of their commercial experience or skills, but upon their employer's hopes of gaining political influence in the right quarters.

There is also a great difference between experience of the 'real world' gained from working in industry and commerce and that of the city institutions (a favourite choice of MPs from Edward Heath onwards) who clearly, until very recently, lived in a fantasy world of their own as remote from the ordinary people as is Westminster itself.

Unfortunately, this is the sort of thing that perpetuates the electorates' view of the typical Tory. It's this sort of thing that can lose us the election.

They all have the impression that Conservative MP's are all rich and sit on boards and are just politicians as a part-time hobby to serve their own interests.

What a shame that David Cameron didn't put his foot down.

We keep saying that we want our side of the house (our MPs in general) to be representative of the country. We also keep saying that we don't want politicians who did 'nothing else' beside politics. Guess what! Successful, diverse and most inspirational and interesting people do more than one thing at time. They are also capable of managing different diaries and projects at any one time (men can multitask too you know).
The front bench (or any MP for that matter) don't take on jobs/or roles that require them to do more than a few emails, a couple of calls a week and maybe a few hours of meetings a month. So I don't understand what all the fuss is about. Besides we are the party of enterprising and 'do more for yourself and others' I would think it is a good practice to practice what you preach.
Unless, what they do outside is impacting negatively on their constituency and front bench role, and as long as they are happy and capable to juggle all, I see no reason for concern. Unless there is a law dictating that MPs should ONLY live on their government salary then I see no room for worry.

We keep saying that we want our side of the house (our MPs in general) to be representative of the country. We also keep saying that we don't want politicians who did 'nothing else' beside politics. Guess what! Successful, diverse and most inspirational and interesting people do more than one thing at time. They are also capable of managing different diaries and projects at any one time (men can multitask too you know).
The front bench (or any MP for that matter) don't take on jobs/or roles that require them to do more than a few emails, a couple of calls a week and maybe a few hours of meetings a month. So I don't understand what all the fuss is about. Besides we are the party of enterprising and 'do more for yourself and others' I would think it is a good practice to practice what you preach.
Unless, what they do outside is impacting negatively on their constituency and front bench role, and as long as they are happy and capable to juggle all, I see no reason for concern. Unless there is a law dictating that MPs should ONLY live on their government salary then I see no room for worry.

We keep saying that we want our side of the house (our MPs in general) to be representative of the country. We also keep saying that we don't want politicians who did 'nothing else' beside politics. Guess what! Successful, diverse and most inspirational and interesting people do more than one thing at time. They are also capable of managing different diaries and projects at any one time (men can multitask too you know).
The front bench (or any MP for that matter) don't take on jobs/or roles that require them to do more than a few emails, a couple of calls a week and maybe a few hours of meetings a month. So I don't understand what all the fuss is about. Besides we are the party of enterprising and 'do more for yourself and others' I would think it is a good practice to practice what you preach.
Unless, what they do outside is impacting negatively on their constituency and front bench role, and as long as they are happy and capable to juggle all, I see no reason for concern. Unless there is a law dictating that MPs should ONLY live on their government salary then I see no room for worry.

"They all have the impression that Conservative MP's are all rich and sit on boards and are just politicians as a part-time hobby to serve their own interests"
Exactly and this is why a person like Mark Harper MP, can be so very useful to us all and why I draw your attention to him yet again.

William Hague by common consent came off second best at PMQs last week. If he had been hungry for power,he would have destroyed Harman but didn't.

I have the strong impression that many borough councillors work much harder than MPs who will be working only one day in three next year.

The question is whether Cameron is tough enough to be PM - he cannot keep his shadow cabinet in order so how can he handle Putin,Merkel, Obama etc?

His bowing he knee to vested interests is a bad sign.

"Unless, what they do outside is impacting negatively on their constituency and front bench role,"

Therein lies the problem. Why, when Labour have made so many catastrophic mistakes, are the Shadow Cabinet not pasting them to the wall?
Something is "impacting on their front" bench role - is it ability or focus?
Either we have some useless front benchers or they simply aren't trying hard enough.

In general, I have no problem with them having outside interests as long as they are registered.

The issue here is commitment to their jobs in the Shadow Cabinet: it's not the money, it's the time.

Make it 'no outside earnings', and your get stories about Cameron/Osborne being rich enough not to need to moonlight, and Hague throwing a hissy fit. Outside earnings are not the problem, as long as they are conducive to campaigning - public speaking, media performances, even writing books and articles.

Outside earnings aren't the problem but time is. Are these Shadow Cabinet members seriously going to keep these jobs when they are Cabinet ministers (£141k pa, and unlimited hours)? I assume not, so why not give them up a year (or less) early to show how hungry they are for government?

I think Hague's bluff could be called - no way would he pass up on being Foreign Sec for the sake of external earnings. He's not finished, and knows it. I'm a little disappointed Cameron isn't insisting on this, as I think he could.

There's a depth of talent, and plenty of hungry MPs who really want it. This could have been his chance to make headlines by stamping his authority, even on the highest of his Cabinet colleagues.

Hague, Gove etc can keep the public speaking and writing. However, paid jobs that require a minimum number of hours (such as directorships) must go. Anyone who doesn't like it can go. And that includes Hague.

If the individuals in question are doing a good job, then I don't see that any outside interests they may have can be considered detrimental. If they're not doing a good job, then no doubt they'll be given the push whatever their circumstances.

I would have hoped that those on the front bench would have to sense to see the sense in committing to their duties fulltime without being asked to and do it voluntarily.

Also, these things are not always black and white; MPs' work may actually benefit from them retainin links and roles outside their Parliamentary work. And for that reason they need to be asked to make the best decisions they can on the issue without being hamstrung by well-meaning, but misguided, party regulations.

I find it kinda of unbelievable. So we can be assured that this bunch are unwilling to concentrate on parliament. With so many able people about it seems unreasonable for these hogs to remain blessed with of an important full time and challenging Job. This is unworthy of a great political party that should be concentrated solely on the Nation.
Sadly the current leadership is unable to insist on supporters giving up their well paid jobs to spend all of their time doing what they are being rewarded for from the national purse. Of course this must change if this party is going to represent its supporters. Maybe the Leadership doesn’t reconcile the privilege very well and would it not be better by far; to expect such lack luster commitment to be rewarded with dismissal. So it’s a pretty pass when you have to admit that your shadow cabinet is only on the make. I say sack them and make use of the talent that the party has in droves. This is not a winning team right now that much is utterly transparent . Dave the slave….I can see the headline bright and breezing . Dave is unable to do the job if his ministers are only looking after No1. We have a slavish reverence for money in this party but we also recognize that much can be achieved by clever men on far less. Wealth breeds complacencies, it seems that wealth also breeds a yobish yahoo of over privileged mandarins, we notice Dave sucks up too big time. Where is the one nation in this Tory party? There is a real revolution coming lets be willing to nail our flag to the mast.

As a party member and activist, I find this very disappointing.

If we win the election, those making the Cabinet would have to drop these other part-time jobs. Perhaps it's more profitable to stay as they are?

It is not daft to dislike the idea of 'professional politicians'. Ergo, MPs have outside interests.

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