Ex-Ministers’ haste to cash in on their insider knowledge

From: Paul Emsley, Hellifield, Skipton.

Why should we be surprised that Messrs Straw and Rifkind marketed their insider knowledge, gained during Government office, to supplement their Parliamentary salaries?

Because of their previous Government posts, £67,000 per year plus expenses probably seems small beer now. I’m just surprised that Mr Straw doesn’t market his experience of “extraordinary rendition”, gained under Tony Blair, as an additional area of expertise.

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I believe that all these recycled and so-called Parliamentary grandees will get their comeuppance at the forthcoming election, either from their constituents or from Ukip.

The people of this country should take the opportunity to clear out a lot of the dead wood in the Palace of Westminster, to try and make way for something fresh.

Let’s face it; we only get the chance for democracy in this country once every five years. We should try and make the most of it.

Perhaps there is a case for limiting the period of time that someone remains an MP – after they have left government office – so that they don’t become too much of an expert.

In any other employment, the miscreants would be out on their ear, for providing insider knowledge to outsiders. In politics, the electorate are expected to understand that all politicians are fallible and should be allowed to dabble in the “real” world, because it’s good for them to prepare their nests, for their life after Westminster.

From: Terry Palmer, South Lea Avenue, Hoyland, Barnsley.

Humiliated top Tory Sir Malcolm Rifkind has finally resigned as chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee and decided to step down as an MP at the next election.

He and Labour bigwig Jack Straw were caught offering their services undercover for money. Rifkind branded the allegations “contemptible”. He would say that wouldn’t he?

The sad thing is we’ve now come to expect this sort of thing from politicians, therefore nothing comes as a surprise any more.

Watching David Cameron on Prime Minister’s Questions, when he was challenged by Ed Miliband to stop MPs doing second jobs, all we got was fluster, as usual.

He is the first to complain about Labour being allied to the unions, yet what about big business and the Tories?