March 12 Letters: MPs must be allowed to do outside work

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From: MP Laycock, Wheatlands Road East, Harrogate.

OF course MPs should be allowed to have other jobs. Members of HM Government combine Parliamentary duties with their departmental responsibilities but other MPs are free to take work where it can be combined with their Parliamentary timetables.

There is, already, concern about increasing numbers of professional politicians who know no other career outside politics and public relations.

Not only is it good to have MPs with professional and business experience, it is good for them to keep in touch with the effects of government policies on their previous occupations. This can help them improve legislation and hold Ministers to account.

They are better able to vote according to their individual conscience and judgment. They are less dependent on patronage from Government and from party whips for their livelihood and hopes of advancement.

We need people of ability in Parliament. It would be a great loss if people with skills who earn more than a Parliamentary salary were put off standing for Parliament by a ban.

There are already rules in place against misuse of confidential information and for declaration of conflicts of interest.

It should be up to voters to decide for themselves whether to elect or re-elect a candidate with outside business interests.

From: Don Burslam, Elm Road, Dewsbury Moor, Dewsbury.

WE are told the Palace of Westminster needs a complete refurb which would cost £3bn. Why bother wasting all that money on an outdated, creaking crumbling institution?

It’s a golden opportunity to relocate the whole complex to a more central location in the regions. Of course Westminster could be retained as a museum as a reminder of a time when this country was more powerful and influential than it is now.

Relocating would give a massive boost to wherever the new seat of government was set up and this would radiate over a huge area. Building costs are much cheaper up here which would counterbalance the cost of setting up a completely new government complex.

From: John Fisher, Menwith Hill.

THE forthcoming election is becoming increasingly difficult to ascertain who or who will not have the right to govern the country. One possible outcome is a Parliament which will require the participation of more than one party to provide a stable government.

Problems faced by the Liberal and Conservative coalition will no doubt be a lesson to any future coalition. Sir John Major’s warning of the consequences of any deal with the Scottish Nationalists appears a strange view of democracy when viewed with the fact that the Conservatives have only one seat in Scotland (The Yorkshire Post, March 7). Any party which forces another election by refusing to work with another party could be severely punished by the electorate.

This leaves little opportunity other than all political parties working together to solve the problems facing this country, something that is done in many other countries under the proportional representation system. This electoral system was refused to be considered for the UK by the Conservative government, but they gave it to Scotland to preserve a very minor Conservative presence in the Scottish Parliament.

Could we be seeing the end of the first past the post system? This is one question that only an increasingly dissatisfied electorate can answer.

From: J Lowcock, Sheffield.

IF Ukip get its way, once out of the EU, we shall be able to control our own territorial waters again. Out of the EU, a wrecked industry will have the chance to rise from the ashes. Out of the EU, waste of fish by the thousands of tonnes will end; out of the EU – maybe I shall, once again be able to afford fresh fish; out of the EU, the ecological holocaust of the CFP will just be a bad dream.

EU wrong to rile Russia

From: Ian Oglesby, Stamford Bridge, York.

CONGRATULATIONS on publishing GP Taylor’s article (The Yorkshire Post, March 4). He mentions facts which the media avoid.

The EU has taken advantage of states which are economically challenged, in order to enlarge this power-oriented bloc, registering surprise when Russia reacts to this provocation. The tragedy of Ukraine and murmurings in the Baltic states are the result of this EU policy.

The USA relishes the thought of unsettling Russia but this time we must resist pressure to become involved in the political and ethnic problems of Ukraine.

Caring staff deserve more

From: Christopher Broome, Hackthorn Road, Sheffield.

IT is encouraging that the UK Homecare Association (UKHCA) is drawing attention to the low rates Yorkshire councils are paying for home care (The Yorkshire Post, March 5).

Equally, it is sad that North Yorkshire County Council feel the need to justify paying just over £1 an hour more than the UKHCA considers necessary to fund staff on the legal minimum wage. Those staff should possess excellent people skills and be trained to rigorous standards in a range of subjects. Their work and dedication deserves far better reward than the minimum wage.

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