to suggest that a condition of employment as a MP should be a week living as a member of the working poor, or the unemployed or the squeezed middle before being allowed to make policies that affect th

(112 Posts)
LackaDAISYcal Tue 19-Mar-13 07:54:36

Fucking fed up to the back teeth of being shat on from a great height by a bunch of twats who have no idea how the majority of the electorate actually live. The way things are going, we will lose our house as it's getting harder to meet our mortgage repayments every month.

LackaDAISYcal Tue 19-Mar-13 07:56:20

oops, title too long blush

should read policies that affect the majority of the electorate.

and an MP obv!

OhDearieDearieMe Tue 19-Mar-13 07:56:57

It's a fair idea - I do hope you'd advocate it for ALL members and not just those of a government persuasion? Seems to me not a single one of them has a clue and it matters not which party they represent.

wonderingsoul Tue 19-Mar-13 07:58:04

it would have to be a month to get any where near the feeling of depression, how desperate you get. how betrodden you feel.

good idea. id like to see it just for shits and giggle really.

Inseywinseyupthespout Tue 19-Mar-13 08:01:45

Really pisses me off that they all sit in their shiny houses , talking about their private school education & how they will make the country a better place whilst their top rate nannies watch over their kids .

"We are all in this together ..."


mummymeister Tue 19-Mar-13 08:01:47

if you hate the people in power so much and dont think they represent your views then you should stand for office yourself. the reason these "bunch of twats" are in power is because they are the only people that put themselves forward. too many people moan about it but arent prepared to stand themselves and make a difference. Local elections coming up OP so i assume that you are standing for your parish / town council? and please no excuses, we are all busy, with busy working lives, and kids and elderly parents etc. Its our democracy we get the people in power that can be bothered and if you cant be bothered then dont whinge about it.

OTTMummA Tue 19-Mar-13 08:02:43


A week! Pfft! Maybe 6 months, preferably a year, that should earn them some compassion.

GrowSomeCress Tue 19-Mar-13 08:03:15

In that case, shall we also have only those who are/were really wealthy making tax policies that affect the really wealthy?

Or children making policies which affect children?

I agree. !!! But I doubt they would last five minutes

HeySoulSister Tue 19-Mar-13 08:05:09

Why are your mortgage payments the fault of MP's?

NewFerry Tue 19-Mar-13 08:05:28

I dont think anyone should be allowed to stand until they have done a proper job either, rather than PPE at uni, followed by a stint in some ministers office, or a govt paid quango, before being parachuted into a safe seat.

LackaDAISYcal Tue 19-Mar-13 08:05:31

Oh of course mummymeister...independant rosettes at the ready hmm

LackaDAISYcal Tue 19-Mar-13 08:08:46

My mortgage isn;t the govts responsibility, obviously, but the policies that are being intridcued re childcare and child benefits are making it harder every month for us to live the way we used to. We are not the only family in this position. And this govt is out of touch with their core elctorate. They ahve no idea how the normal people live. All I am suggesting is that they live as an ordinary family to get a flavour of it before making policies that affect them.

Anyhoo, Rant over, need to get my children to school and then go to work!

mummymeister Tue 19-Mar-13 08:10:40

Lackadaisycal. i am a parish councillor there are 10 of us we meet once a month and are the first point of call for planning applications etc. i dont stand under any banner or party, just my own name. There are several thousand people in my parish all of whom whinge and moan about planning decisions, lack of play parks, dog mess, i could go on. yet we will struggle to find 10 people to do this - 1 evening a month. too many people sit around moaning about "them" and the decisions that "they" make. if you dont like it stop whinging and do something about it

LackaDAISYcal Tue 19-Mar-13 08:11:07

and mummymeister, afaik we are still allowed freedom of speech in our democracy, which gives me the right to whinge about a government I didn't vote for if I like, thanks!

LackaDAISYcal Tue 19-Mar-13 08:12:31

No parish council here to talk about dog mess, and I am not talking about local issues, nice though it would be to sort out the pavements round here too.

mummymeister Tue 19-Mar-13 08:12:54

of course you can moan - and then tomorrow what will have changed after your moan. absolutely nothing.

Startail Tue 19-Mar-13 08:13:32

They should also try and get and keep a job, living an a rural area, with no public transport and no wage coming in to get a car.

They should try to find some where affordable to rent and discover there is no where.

Then they should be forced with no car, no bus without a 3 mile walk and no bus fare to get to the job centre 13 miles away.

We had one 5 miles away, which was cyclable, if you took your life in your hands, but it closed.

threebats Tue 19-Mar-13 08:17:00

Remember Neil Kinnock? He was from a working class background and worked his way up from the bottom...
David Cameron Nick Clegg - born with silver spoons in their mouths.

I know everybody has differing opinions on politics and that's as it should be.

But I know who would understand my problems if I had to sit down with the three men above...

Domjolly Tue 19-Mar-13 08:18:16

Really pisses me off that they all sit in their shiny houses , talking about their private school education & how they will make the country a better place whilst their top rate nannies watch over their kids .

"We are all in this together ..."


ahhhhh the politics of envy, love it as least these people pay in to our society with there private schools and lrivate helath care usually have less need for police and ss they put in more than they take not the like the other lot ho take more than they put it

might also wanna remind those who moan on anout tory toffs the labour lot are hardly slumming ot but you all convently forget that was it not diann abott who but her sone is plush private school and not gordan brown who wents to sctolands answer to EATON

Lots of MPs have had "normal" jobs or lives before entering parliament. Lots have struggled with their mortgages.

Just because the boys at the top wouldn't know one end of the supermarket trolley from the other doesn't mean the other 600 odd are the same.

Trills Tue 19-Mar-13 08:19:08


"A week living as XXX" is a stupid stunt and a waste of time.

I would rather have my MP doing his or her actual job.

Domjolly Tue 19-Mar-13 08:21:53

I know thrills my local doctor has just become mp and to suggest at some point we wasnt a student doctor on no money or didnt have to do shopping os absured

FasterStronger Tue 19-Mar-13 08:24:02

I would like a rule that before someone complains about something, that effects them personally, they consider could they take responsibility for themselves?

rather than the endless something should be done meaning someone else should do something as I don't want to change.

I agree with mummymeister.

And Gordon Brown came from a working class background and did not go to a fee paying school.

Iggly Tue 19-Mar-13 08:27:51

They should at least talk to the people affected.

Some things seem very well on paper when looking at the overall but they forget that these things impact on people. Individuals, families, children etc etc. the human and common sense element is missing.

I think it needs more like a month.

I want to private school and am not a thoughtless, unsympathetic twat so it's certainly not an envy thing! I just think it's bloody sensible to have an elected body that represent ALL of society, and understand what affect their policies will actually have before they commit to them.

threebats Tue 19-Mar-13 08:45:01

I think OP is making the point that those at the top of the political tree right now (whatever party) are from backgrounds of great privilege compared with the majority of people living in this country - they were born into money and connections and that makes life easier for the person - fact.
There has been no struggle, no fight outside a political arena, for these men to learn what it is like to struggle and fight to better their lives, to feed their families, to juggle their income and so on... They try to empathize with people who do struggle and fight but realistically they can not because unless you experience something, you can't understand it completely. And when they try? They come across as arrogant - that can't be helped, you can't preach to a person about knowing how 'real life' is if you have been sheltered from it the whole of your life.

Op is struggling to find a way to connect to the politicians of today as there is no common ground - its an entirely reasonable post she has written.
She does not want to become an MP mummymeister She would just like those that are in power to have more of a grip and understanding on what life is like beyond the safety of family money and a private education?
Is that too much to ask?
I know some Mp's have fought hard and are worth the position that they hold but a whole lot of them do nothing to help at all - trying to actually find my Mp is like looking for a needle in a haystack - all you get is the 'staff' on the phone.

Iggly Tue 19-Mar-13 08:48:05

Agree threebats. Agree!

StuntGirl Tue 19-Mar-13 09:45:10

threebats said everything I wanted to say!

TheBigJessie Tue 19-Mar-13 09:50:35

it needs to be at least three months. Preferably six. And they don't get to do it in their own houses. It's easy to survive on a very low income for just a week in a big house with everything new/in good repair, a well stocked fridge and freezer, and a full wardrobe.

We've had the one week experiments before, and politicians went away even more arrogant than before, because they were too thick to account for the above.

Dahlen Tue 19-Mar-13 09:57:05

Great post by threebats.

It is already well known that it is extremely hard for anyone from a normal income to break into mainstream politics. It requires money, connections and lots of free time to devote to it. Not easy if you're a low-earning mum. Plus there's also the argument that in entering the system you want to change, you quickly discover that the only way to succeed is to turn into the very thing you despise.

What I think would really help this country is an end to the emphasis on party politics and more of an emphasis on cross co-operation whereby the good of the electorate - rather than the party line - is prioritised. In my local area, despite the overwhelming (nearly 100%) campaigning against something that was going to affect local people, our MP towed the party line and only backed down when David Cameron bowed to popular appeal (this was a national thing but it affected my area in particular). The people are not the priority of many MP's, their own political careers are, which makes a bit of a mockery of democracy IMO.

Dahlen Tue 19-Mar-13 09:58:21

And I would love to see the likes of David Cameron and George Osborne survive on £71 per week. I doubt they'd last a week, let alone a month.

BreconBeBuggered Tue 19-Mar-13 10:07:00

As Jessie says, a week is do-able and gives a false impression of how workable it is. 3/6 months of accounting for every last penny then wondering what the hell to do when the cooker finally gives out and the DC need new shoes for school is quite a different scenario, and might actually give an insight into what it's like to live like this for years on a low income.

ModernToss Tue 19-Mar-13 10:12:44

YA only BU in that a week or even month is only going to scratch the surface of what life is like for most of the electorate; I'd make it a year.

ChairmanWow Tue 19-Mar-13 10:19:14

Another one believing it should be a month. Let's force them to do it during their ridiculous summer recess. That or some kind of voluntary work (though hardly voluntary given we pay them) with projects in areas of social deprivation. Perhaps constituents could decide which project their MP will work with.

Agree that the gene pool from which MPs are being drawn, socially speaking, is becoming narrower and narrower. Too many barristers, for example. The percentage of public school educated MPs is climbing as well and getting less and less reflective of society in general. This cannot bode well for ordinary working-class, or middle-class people.

MNetBlackpoolLE Tue 19-Mar-13 10:22:08

I agree, a month.

ChocsAwayInMyGob Tue 19-Mar-13 10:26:09

I totally agree with threebats.

You cannot say that people who are not elected officers have no right to complain. The elected officers are there to represent us. The OP does not feel represented.

I must say that I too have an issue with the fact that the current Prime Minister, ultimately responsible for the welfare state and the NHS, is worth 30million (much of it inherited).

quoteunquote Tue 19-Mar-13 10:34:29

Politics is the art of preventing people from taking part in affairs which properly concern them.

Paul Valery 1871 -1945

Paul Valery

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 19-Mar-13 10:54:49

YABU... Would you also like them to commit the crime before making something illegal? Competent decision making based on good advice and a clear vision is what I want from politicians. That and the confidence to make unpopular choices when necessary.

issey6cats Tue 19-Mar-13 10:55:51

it should be at least 3 months because even in one month they would only pay each bill once, over three to six months they would have to stretch the money each month and would get a better idea of how far £71 a week goes, when each week you have to decide wether you can afford £10 for the gas or wether you buy more than £10 worth of food and dont put the gas on, and during this period they should be sanctioned on thier benefits for at least 4 weeks so they can see what happens when someone on the lowest benefits has absolutely no money whatsoever

Andro Tue 19-Mar-13 11:10:19


IIRC, it was Alastair Darling who went to Scotland's answer to Eton.

ChairmanWow Tue 19-Mar-13 11:10:38

Would you also like them to commit the crime before making something illegal?

No, because that's a matter of social consensus - ie the wider moral viewpoint is that murder is wrong therefore the consensus is that it should be illegal. Poverty is much more complex and nuanced, and decisions not enshrined in law, policy decisions, have a far-reaching impact on this. For example cutting Sure Start budgets is not a legislative decision but it reduces the availability of affordable childcare and help for vulnerable families.

I do think there is a prevailing attitude on the Tory front bench that the poor and those on benefits have brought it upon themselves and therefore if they live in poverty it's their and not the state's responsibility. Easy when you're heir or heiress to millions, isn't it.

nilbyname Tue 19-Mar-13 11:12:38

I hate the way this argument goes cogito please do not be so derivative and literal. The op makes a fair point, those in power have come from extreme wealth and privilege and their policies are having a huge impact on the ordinary electorate. This lack of insight might be the missing link.

threebats Tue 19-Mar-13 11:26:06

Because a person is worth millions they inherited, it does not make them a bad person. Lucky maybe, but not bad.
But it does insulate them from the grit of real life. It limits greatly their ability to be able to make proper informed and educated decisions on the real life matters facing people on a real life wage and with real life savings. They have advisers who advise them on real life - not experience of it. And when that person is in the position of being 'in charge' of a country where the vast majority of inhabitants are right now, today, praying the weather changes and fast as its too cold and they can not afford any more heating bills and have a decent standard of living along with it - he does not understand that concept as he has never once had to limit the gas central heating to 2 hours per night or gone without it entirely for days on end.
With all due respect to Mr Cameron - when he understands how it feels to be cold, as in bone cold and to have your children the same way because over the last few years energy prices have shot through the roof of reasonable and in order to carry on being able to afford to run a car, eat and pay all bills, you have to go cold, when he says 'I am going to right this' rather than, 'I have insisted all tariffs are made clearer to understand'. That's when he will become a proper leader in my opinion.

Instead of this situation of increasingly high costs to be able to live being talked about in a sensible way among the public - it all too often disintegrates into nasty fight about 'what is poverty?' And 'Its your own fault for having children you could not afford to care for.' 'Benefit scroungers.' 'Work shy.' Which, there are some people who are on the take and are taking the p**s, yes - but - I suspect the large majority of working people and unemployed people do not want more handouts - what they want is to be treated fairly and to have somebody to lead the country who understands this, understands that they are on the brink of loosing everything through no fault of their own - like the OP who is at risk of loosing her home because bills have gone up faster than her wage and what she was getting in the form of help from the Government is being if not stopped then pinched to uncomfortable levels. And she can't financially do it anymore without something giving and that something is her home.

I would ask all posters on here to have a little decorum when replying to this sort of post as the OP is on the brink of loosing her home which is going to be hurting her emotionally and financially. Its not fair to say that she should become an MP if she wants to solve it all, have a say, make changes - all she wants is to keep her home and despite her best efforts she is failing. All she sees when she looks for help are doors closing and somebody saying, 'I understand what you are going through...' A man worth 30 million of inherited money can not possibly understand what she is going through - again that does not make him a bad person, it just makes him insulated from real life.

I have some friends who work in politics, and it's been fascinating to learn from them how out of touch some higher ups are because they simply do not use modern technology or media. They don't surf the web or go on twitter or read online forums, they don't have email accounts even. They are insulated by their staffs, they are really in a little bubble.

So I'm not sure it even needs to be as drastic as living on benefits for a month. Maybe they just need to get out there more and actually talk to real live people, without their staff running interference, with no barriers.

rootypig Tue 19-Mar-13 11:57:18

YABU, it should be 6 months.

Iggly Tue 19-Mar-13 12:01:58

That doesn't make sense Cogito.

People make decisions based on narrow criteria. They forget the human element - this is a failing. Governments have a responsibility for everyone - that's what they've been voted in for. If they make unpopular decisions then perhaps that tells them they've got something wrong.

SoniaGluck Tue 19-Mar-13 12:13:43

Excellent posts, threebats, I agree with everything you say.

Matthew Parris tried living on the dole for a documentary, years ago. I think that he realised you couldn't have much of a life living on unemployment benefit as it then was but he still didn't think that it should be increased, IIRC. hmm

Kazooblue Tue 19-Mar-13 12:19:11

Dp and I were discussing this last night.

We think millionaires or those who have parents that are millionaires should be banned from government.

If you have never lived in the real world you are not qualified to make decisions on it.

Kazooblue Tue 19-Mar-13 12:19:51


ubik Tue 19-Mar-13 12:29:43

Years ago politicians were not 'career politicians' they had worked at ordinary jobs before standing for parliament. They went to work at Westminster on public transport, they didn't regard the electorate as pond life.

Now we have a political elite - yes you can become an MP but if you want up climb the ladder you need to be on message. The are fantastic constituency MPs really making a difference, listening to concerns, working hard to improve life. But the one's that make policy, who hold the real power, they are a different breed and they do not give a toss how hard your life is because they truly believe that it's all your own fault. And that goes for Conservative and Labour.

It's a crying shame but perhaps the cliche is true - the people get the government they deserve.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 19-Mar-13 12:32:18

I think being an MP should be mandatory and random like jury service.

Wanting to be an MP should automatically bar you from the post.

ubik Tue 19-Mar-13 12:32:50

I heard that to be a member of the Bullingdon Club you have to burn a £50 note in front of a homeless person. Nice.

While I think that the current government is a shower of heartless cretins I hate this "you have to live in the real world" nonsense. Everyone has different experiences that they bring to the table. Someone who seems to have a fairly comfortable financial life may have struggled dreadfully with depression or illness and have experiences that others cannot imagine. People who have struggled financially may never have seen the NHS at its worst and have never experienced that side of the "real world".

We all have our troubles that no one knows about. Competitive misery helps no-one.

flurp Tue 19-Mar-13 12:47:06

Threebats for PM'
I'd vote for you grin

Kazooblue Tue 19-Mar-13 12:55:25

If you have never needed the NHS or state education you are not qualified to make decisions on it.

How can you decide what an average family can manage on if you've never lived an average life.

Boris Johnson is a perfect case in point.

On justifying the blatant unfairness re CB he said that those losing it use it to restock their wine cellars and to go on decent safari and ski-ing holidays like he did.

Really Boris,perhaps if you had ever tried real life you'd know that just isn't true and then you wouldn't have contributed to such a balls up.

If wallpaper boy had experienced real life maybe he would have known that continuously squeezing families means growth will dry up.

ChairmanWow Tue 19-Mar-13 13:01:10

That Bullingdon Club initiation ceremony

Sickening. And says everything you need to know about the suitability of its former members to serving as MPs.

Andro Tue 19-Mar-13 13:04:48

We think millionaires or those who have parents that are millionaires should be banned from government.

So the entrepreneur who has built him/herself up from nothing and become a millionaire should be banned from government, just because s/he have been successful? Surely that's the kind of business acumen a country with a damaged economy needs near the top?

Kazooblue Tue 19-Mar-13 13:09:05

I think you lose sight of real life when you're not living it.

Not sure why entrepreneurs are better qualified than many other people to run the country to be frank.

Money and luck don't make you a good leader as we have recently seen.

FasterStronger Tue 19-Mar-13 13:14:22

Not sure why entrepreneurs are better qualified than many other people to run the country to be frank.

because they have a track record of creating jobs, which is what we as a country obv need.

Andro Tue 19-Mar-13 13:16:25

I think you lose sight of real life when you're not living it.

Do you really think that someone who came from poverty, but succeeded through hard work and intellect will have forgotten 'where they came from'? I find that difficult to believe tbh (I am referring to those who have made it in business, not just 'got lucky').

Entrepreneurs may not be better qualified than 'many other people' to run the country, but I think in many cases they would be better qualified than 'professional politicians'.

Kazooblue Tue 19-Mar-13 13:23:48

But it isn't all about creating jobs,far from it.

Also not many come from true poverty before getting to the top(life isn't a Barbara Taylor Bradford novel).

It could also be said if you did come from nothing and got to the top this could give you a false view of work ethic.Many people work their arses off and get nowhere,luck can't be bought.

Badvoc Tue 19-Mar-13 13:26:17

The Oxbridge types who were born into privilege have no idea how the vast majority live.
They have never had to balance a bank account, do a weekly shop, budget for Xmas, go,without so ourndc dont, try and find cheap hols like the rest of us do.
They are so insulated from the decisions and hard work of everyday life and frankly the policies coming out of the coalition govt show that very clearly.
The days of kinnock and major are over. It's all going to be Oxbridge boys and bullingdon club members from now on....

FasterStronger Tue 19-Mar-13 13:28:07

if its not about creating jobs, what do we want from political leaders at the moment?

Kazooblue Tue 19-Mar-13 13:36:41

Errrrm making decisions that aren't utterly crap,on which they continuously have to U turn and which the vast majority without the benefit of a privileged education can see will lead us nowhere would be a start.

FasterStronger Tue 19-Mar-13 13:39:20

in policy terms what do you want?

GrowSomeCress Tue 19-Mar-13 13:42:40

millionaires banned from politics? i've heard it all now grin

Crinkle77 Tue 19-Mar-13 13:44:21

here here Mummymeister. I often say this to my boyfriend when he moans about the state of the country. I tell him anyone can stand as an MP or local councillor. Also lets not forget Not all MP's are born with a silver spoon in their mouth. In fact many come from ordinary backgrounds - even Thatcher who was the daughter of a grocer.

ubik Tue 19-Mar-13 13:50:56

I would like an end to the 'bedroom tax' which I think is clear evidence that the government hates those of low socio-economic status.

I would like more if a focus on recouping tax from major corporations who benefit from our educated workforce/ reasonable infrastructure.

I would like a review of PFI -I would love to know how much taxpayers money is disappearing into the pockets of these companies. I would like a review of procurement processes.

I would like an end to school league tables.

More than anything I would like to feel that policy is bring properly thought through and debated and not drawn up in response to the latest DM hysteria. I would like to feel those in power actually were fit to run a country, had a clue how things worked in real life, so that I could trust them to run stuff while I get on with my own stuff.

Kazooblue Tue 19-Mar-13 13:51:43

Oh a list as long as my arm.

Kazooblue Tue 19-Mar-13 13:53:20

Ubik's last paragraph features pretty high on it.

SoniaGluck Tue 19-Mar-13 13:56:19

Errrrm making decisions that aren't utterly crap,on which they continuously have to U turn and which the vast majority without the benefit of a privileged education can see will lead us nowhere would be a start.

Absolutely Kazoo. Theo Paphitis pointed out on Question Time last week that the so called bedroom tax was not going to save any money at all. It was going to be so costly to implement that it would probably cost more than it saved. It is just a gimmick - so that it looks like the government is doing something.

Of course, job creation is extremely important but I've yet to see any real progress on that front and there is more to governing than that.

So many of the Coalition's policies seem to demonise the poor and are so divisive. It really will end up polarising the different groups into even more entrenched "us and them" attitudes.

FasterStronger Tue 19-Mar-13 13:57:30

recouping tax from major corporations if they are registered to pay tax in another country, how would you make them pay tax here?

i can only see an increase in VAT doing this but hands up for a VAT increase....

Takver Tue 19-Mar-13 14:02:20

YANBU, though agree 6 months would be better.

However, I would take it further. Here is my programme for MPs (before you jump on me, I know it is unrealistic, but I'd love to do it anyway)

1) MPs salary to be set at the current median full time wage
2) No additional jobs allowed
3) All other family income, earned or unearned, whether to them or their DH/DW/DP to go automatically into a blind trust which they cannot access until they leave parliament (Their DW/H/P would be allowed to keep access to the median f/t or p/t wage - depending on hours worked - out of anything they earned)
4) I would build/buy a large block of flats somewhere reasonably central in London (I know this would be tricky). All MPs would be issued with one of these to be their London base (there would be larger flats for those with children) so no rent/expenses etc paid for second homes.

Takver Tue 19-Mar-13 14:04:14

And I think it is important to recognise that the top flight of Labour are no better than the Conservatives - the era of John Prescott et al died with strong unions. The new high fliers are 90% drawn from the same narrow gene pool of researchers/PPE grads/thinktank employees.

ubik Tue 19-Mar-13 14:14:08

and frankly John Prescott was no advertisement for Labour old guard either.

Some integrity.

mummymeister Tue 19-Mar-13 14:18:43

1) MPs salary to be set at the current median full time wage etc
... and on this basis then Takver you would be willing to stand as an MP then?. Thought not. No bloody way would I have my office (ie parliament) hundreds of miles from where I live to earn average wage and neither would you. If it is such a fantastically well paid easy job then why arent there queues and queues of people wanting to do it then. You cant ban people from jobs on the basis of what they own or have earned in the past no more than you can ban them for their colour, sex or religion. It is equally wrong. What you can do as an individual is get involved locally not necessarily in any one party but be part of the decisions. too many people sit around wasting time and energy whinging about "these nobby politicians" and wont do anything positive to change it.

threebats Tue 19-Mar-13 14:22:26

lurkedtoolong I would not like to say that the current Government are a heartless bunch of cretins as that is a very strong statement to charge against a person(s).
I agree with you on the point that everybody has different experiences and everybody has something to bring to the table. The point here is though, the only people sat at the table are the wealthy.
And none of them sat at that table today had a clear majority win to earn their seat there.

I can't relate to the above.
They cannot relate to me either.
I do not feel properly represented in politics. Therefore I feel as if I am out there on my own and there is no politician that actually, really cares about what we go through here, as a family. And I am tired and upset at being told what I should or should not be doing to solve problems that I did not make, that politicians made but I have got to pay for... flurp Thanks for saying you'd vote for me but honestly? I would have to borrow cash from David Cameron when it came time for me to pay for the coffee, 'Oi, Dave, lend us 10.00 till payday... Got to get the coffee's in..!'

grovel Tue 19-Mar-13 14:24:36

mummymeister, that has got to be right.

specialsubject Tue 19-Mar-13 14:33:53

I have to say that 'budgeting for Christmas' does not really come high on my list of 'things that people should not have to do as a basic human right'.

I like Takver's approach except point 3 - why should the MP's partner not be able to carry on with whatever job they do at whatever wage they are getting?

democracy isn't perfect. But it is a lot better than the alternative.

Takver Tue 19-Mar-13 14:40:52

"If it is such a fantastically well paid easy job then why arent there queues and queues of people wanting to do it then. "

Erm, given the difficulty of getting selected as a candidate, it would appear there ARE queues of people wanting the job.

And yes, potentially I would be interested in standing under those conditions. Unfortunately I think I would struggle to find a mainstream party that would have me given my political views grin.

I am very interested in standing as a town councillor though, & plan to do so once my dd is in secondary school.

Takver Tue 19-Mar-13 14:42:51

special "except point 3 - why should the MP's partner not be able to carry on with whatever job they do at whatever wage they are getting?"

I don't like that point, but I think otherwise what will happen is that parliament will be dominated by candidates with partners in very well paid jobs, making their wage 'pocket money'. You can already see this trend - Hillary Clinton and Cherie Blair are both classic examples.

Takver Tue 19-Mar-13 14:43:43

Of course, in my post of 14.40 above, whether anyone will vote for me is another matter.

greenfern Tue 19-Mar-13 14:56:17

Great posts threebats, Totally agree with you.

FasterStronger Tue 19-Mar-13 15:47:07

how much an MP earns is a complete red herring.

they don't need to understand your wants and needs or mine. spending the money is easy bit.

we need MPs who understand getting more investment into the economy, from UK and foreign companies.

MPs pay, like the bedroom tax, makes one group feel better, but is just rearranging the deckchairs on a slowly sinking ship.

Xiaoxiong Tue 19-Mar-13 15:53:27

threebats there are some. My husband's cousin is an MP - he was an RE teacher for years up north while raising 4 kids, and got into politics via being a local councillor. As far as I remember his wife is his secretary so they can work through the night if necessary and they live pretty much hand to mouth on the MP salary he gets and put the rent for their flat in London on a credit card before it gets reimbursed. There's quite a funny little video tour of his London "second home" on his website, very glam not.

In general I think the problem is the lack of imagination and empathy. I'm a vastly lucky person who has never had to really struggle but I can readily imagine and empathise with the difficulties faced by those who have had less luck than I have in life, whether that's financial, academic or health and family related. It's not that hard to listen to what people are going through and put yourself in their shoes, to think about how someone with a child with disabilities or trying to make ends meet on JSA or less or made homeless on one months' notice from a landlord doesn't take much imagination. None of that has anything to do with background though so it makes no sense to bar someone from the job merely because of how much money they have or where they went to school.

marjproops Tue 19-Mar-13 16:21:49

What Dahlen said.

How can any of us ranting here even get an eyelash in the door of politics?

Im a fulltime carer for a severely disabled child, lifelong carer for lifelong disabilities.

I didnt ask for this, Im a hardworking person, but i HAVE to live on benefits.

This morning in the post I get a letter saying with this 'all in it together' gov laws i now have to pay council tax.

I home school DC as there are no schools AT ALL available for her, and Im paying for all school resources, (seving these theives £19,000 a year) pullup pants as I dont get them from anyone else, and ive had to buy less food this morning as suddenly everythings gone up.

i like to buy fresh fruit and veg and theyre costing a bomb now.

so yyyyy OP, they should live in our sandals not their designer expensive shoes. who the hell do we vote for? who knows REAL life?

why the hell are they robbing the poor and putting it in their ever growing pockets?

I would stand for average wage, if there was somewhere free to live in the week (I like the block of flats idea, it's perfectly sensible).

At least it would weed out the career crazy's and maybe some more reasonable passionate MPs would arise.

I'd generally just prefer it if MPs came from a wider range of backgrounds. You don't see many (any?) MPs that used to be social workers, or nurses when really their input would be extremely relevant to social policies. Instead they are 'consulted' and then usually ignored...

HillBilly76 Tue 19-Mar-13 18:27:10

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

DIYWidow Tue 19-Mar-13 18:30:28

I grew up in Slough, only two miles away from Eton but the other side of the M4. As teenage girls we used to bump into Eton school boys in Windsor Mcdonalds - not one of us ever snogged them/wanted one as a boyfriend. They made the boys back at state (grammar) school look kinder, funnier, more intelligent every time.

Imagine going to a single sex, old fashioned, full of archaic slang boarding school with people from a limited wealth pool -that does n't train you for a normal job, with normal people who live at home with their parents and their worries.
It's unbelievable that such a sizeable number from a limited pool are making decisions for the huge variety of people and industries out there.

It's easy enough to stand (the deposit is a LOT if you are poor though) it is near impossible to get elected without party backing in a viable seat.

I'm with those who are worried about career politicians. Westminster is such a bubble and if they have never had experience outside of that bubble how on earth do they really know what it is like for most people.

Not only that, but they don't have technical expertise in any area other than politics so how much do they really understand about the issues in front of them. At least with the House of Lords, people do have an understanding of some of the techical issues because there are experts in the house.

Wasn't it Tony Blair who went to Fettes which is the Scottish equivalent of Eton.

technical not techical

Iamsparklyknickers Tue 19-Mar-13 19:49:08

I agree we are living in a ge of career politicians - that's why I disagree with the notion of 'national service' for politicians, it would achieve exactly nothing apart from a sound bite with which to patronise us.

There's a lot been said on this thread that I completely agree, particularly threebats, I'm not sure what I want, but a little humility at the fact no-one in power right now is there through popularity. Their careers (and future earnings, lets face it being in the cabinet is a step to a very lucrative retirement in almost all cases) are based on being in the right place at the right time, not through actually being good.

I heard a politician (can't remember who unfortunately - think it was the Wolverhampton MP) talking about the new 'bedroom tax'. He talked about how people could work a few extra hours at work to make up the short fall if they wished to stay in their properties. He very much gave the impression this was the feeling within the government. How out of touch to publicly talk about getting overtime to a nation suffering high rates of employment, talking to people who have had their wages frozen and are being forced to accept zero hours contracts... But yes, there's a million bosses out there just dying to hand out overtime.

I went off Nick Clegg and didn't vote Lib Dem for the first time because during his campaigning he was acting all benevolent and promising to raise the state pension. When a journalist asked him how much, the man pulled a figure out of his arse and said £65 per week! How could someone running for the position of Prime Minister have no idea how much the state pension actually was? It's not like it's a political side issue. Dick.

I think part of the problem is, besides the obvious silver spoons, these people are naturally surrounded by high flyers. They seem to have no concept that luck has played a huge part in their success. There're are millions of ambitious, intelligent, hard working people out there, but fate kicks more people in the groin than it allows to rise to the top. I wonder how many people they've lost touch with along the way who didn't make it.

Maybe we should publish all MP's CV's at any election to get a proper idea of who we're voting for.

ubik Tue 19-Mar-13 23:04:12

Indeed - there are many people in work but they cannot get the hours they need - you should see the rush for overtime shifts at my work. It's not the case that people aren't willing - most people are juggling jobs, my cab driver the other night drove a bus by day, cabbed evenings/weekends. that is not unusual.

FasterStronger Wed 20-Mar-13 09:35:21

I dont like shiney dave but his son died recently. Gordons child died as well. And dcs father was a double amputee. They might not understand low incomes but I dont think its accurate to descibe them as wholey lucky.

marjproops Wed 20-Mar-13 18:03:31

Is there any way MNHQ can 'cut and paste' this thread and send it straight into the laps of Scameron and Cleggit?

They dont seem to read newspapers, watch the news, anyhting at all of the rw.

seriously, can this be done?

Another vote for threebats for PM!! grin

I have spent a lot of time thinking about various MPs circumstances and disability Faster, and I think, that although they have lots of empathy for how tough it can be coming from a privileged background they don't understand how important the financial side is when you are on a tight income.

It is very disappointing. I know a lot of parents with disabled children felt that Cameron would understand their needs, and his policies so far have shown that unfortunately he doesn't really.

HollyBerryBush Wed 20-Mar-13 18:18:54

Fucking fed up to the back teeth of being shat on from a great height by a bunch of twats who have no idea how the majority of the electorate actually live

I can flip your OP, OP.... why don't the 'working poor etc' actually do something radical, like get involved in politics and stand for election?

The current MPs don't magic themselves into office, they are voted in, by the 'working poor etc'.

The 'working poor' also live in a democracy and have the power to change things if they choose to. That was how the Labour party was born.

threebats Wed 20-Mar-13 18:47:35

The budget today - okay, lets be honest here, every day they meet up in Parliament for their ''happy discussion sessions'' reminded me of when my children were young and they used to all sit about the living room with the PS1 (remember the PS1?!) Shouting at each other, 'You can't do that! I can do it better! Give it to me! You suck! You did that wrong! I'm not playing anymore! Get lost...' I was actually waiting for either party, Conservatives or Labour to go, 'Maaaammmm! He's being a tit, sort him out...'

Politicians, collectively, tire me. Wear me out. Make me want to reach for a beer and a smoke and wonder where it all went so horribly wrong....
At one point, I thought Osborne was going to choke - might that have been all the bile rising in his throat as he attempted to say what a jolly good job he was doing of it all?

I have just popped on here (not intending on saying all the above but couldn't help it!) to say that Osborne has now opened up a Twitter account - for the poster on this thread that said they did not go on Twitter/Facebook and so forth - he must have been bloody reading.... He's a brave soul though - not sure I would have a twitter account if I were him...

marjproops Wed 20-Mar-13 18:53:21

threebats lol, absolutely right about the kiddy play.(have you noticed we're voting for you for PM?!)

what gets me is that they wonder why there's so much disrespect of people towards each other, anti-social behaviour etc and look at them all like that, in public, all shouting at each other and slamming each other down.

they just dont set examples in any way at all.

AnnabelKarma Wed 20-Mar-13 20:35:58


*Im a fulltime carer for a severely disabled child, lifelong carer for lifelong disabilities.

I didnt ask for this, Im a hardworking person, but i HAVE to live on benefits.*

As were the Cameron's but they both worked.

marjproops Wed 20-Mar-13 20:38:15

Sorry, dont understand what you mean by that?

AnnabelKarma Wed 20-Mar-13 20:41:39

You say you have to live on benefits as you have a disabled child but the Camerons also had a disabled son who very sadly died. They did both work, by the way , as do many parents of disabled children.

FasterStronger Wed 20-Mar-13 20:50:11

surely the Camerons could afford a couple of specialist nannys.... and most people cannot.

some people need to work more, but NOT carers!

marjproops Wed 20-Mar-13 20:51:33

As I said, i didnt ask for this.

My DC didnt ask to be disabled.
I didnt ask to be a LP.
I was working FT before I became a mum.

I am now working FT as a carer, therefore working and earning what i receive. 168 hour week, no hols,

The scamerons prob had nannies and carers to help them.

Im sure many parents of disabled children do manage to work. and get help. I dont have ANY help.

I hope you are not being judgypants on me, you dont know my circumstances.

marjproops Wed 20-Mar-13 20:52:12

Thank you, fasterstronger smile

expatinscotland Wed 20-Mar-13 20:59:16

The Camerons were able to afford two specialist nannies, one for day and one for night. They also applied for and accepted DLA.

FasterStronger Wed 20-Mar-13 21:00:12

in MN terms I am a right winger, but even I know carers for severely disabled people perform an endless and very valuable job.

And deserve more respect from the rest of us grin

dearcathyandclare Wed 20-Mar-13 21:00:55

My dh has a friend who is a MP and his view, with which I agree is that no one should be in parliament until they have done at least a year working as a volunteer for the CAB. You may be not be living the lives of your constituents but at least you get a real understanding of their difficulties and the realities of continual tight budgeting.

LackaDAISYcal Thu 21-Mar-13 09:36:33

that would work too dearcathyandclare!

I personally don't want to be a polititcian HollyBerryBush, I like being around my family too much. I still maintain then right to whinge about a bunch of eejits that I didn't vote for (because I felt they didn't represent my views) and who didn't have a majority vote either, so the "people voted them in" argument doesn't quite wash here imo. Not that the other lot are much better, but hey ho.

And it's clearly impractical for everyone to get into politics as there aren't enough political jobs at a local or national level.

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