Big Eye, March 3, 2015

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Although the main political parties continue to jostle with each other to compete for your attention with their respective marketing departments dreaming up headline-grabbing ways to buy your vote, there is still a singular lack of interest in the election from the man in the street.

For most of us who even bother to look up from our dinner if Miliband or Cameron appears on the telly it’s pretty obvious why the rest of the population can’t be bothered with them.

They come across as living and working in a world that pays little heed to our daily nine-to-five grind or our increasingly mute acceptance of the downward spiral of public services. Farage has captured the imagination of many as he fuels the fires of voter disgust and outrage at MPs who continue to disport themselves as self-seeking, money-grubbing individuals only interested in their wallets.

The latest scandals involving ex-ministers from both sides of the political divide only adds fuel to the bonfires of their endless vanities and puffed-up opinions of their value to us and to commerce.

This trading of political ‘favours’ isn’t just confined to a bunch of top-notch ministers and high profile MPs, it seems to have become an ingrained feature of their world and as far as I can work out their oft quoted reason for having more than one job is financial ...”how can one be expected to exist on the measly £67,000 plus expenses and allowances”.

Closer to home we’ve heard one of our own MPs openly declaring their other highly lucrative job only involved a few hours a month of their time.

I’m sure many of these individuals also enjoy being feted and having their massive egos massaged by those apparently needing their support and ability to influence.

Well, Mr Miliband has now joined the fray and following the model of his peers has offered to buy your vote by claiming that, once in power, he will ban these ‘second’ jobs and obviously he sees this as a winning tactic. He’s hoping that we’ll all be swayed by the thought of our MPs having to look after constituents and parliamentary business on a full-time basis instead of scuttling round the corridors drumming up business for their moonlighting or off-site activities.

Now, I don’t know whether this is something he regards as a pledge or part of the manifesto.

It could be that it is entirely opportunistic and he’s rattled off this statement as a direct result of the latest highly publicised scandal and it hasn’t really been thought through.

Obviously, a significant number of MPs will sail into the next parliament with a string of directorships under their belts and a law compelling them to abandon this income is likely to end up going down the same toilet as Cleggy’s university fees’ pledge. We’ll see, but my guess is his latest bribe to the electorate will prove to be simply hot air and nothing more ... despite the nation’s wish to see it enacted.