By Nora Johnson • 01 October 2020 • 11:37
THE MAGIC ROUNDABOUT OF SECOND JOBS FOR THE BOYS (& GIRLS)
You may have read that Chris Grayling, who as transport secretary awarded a £13.8million ferry contract to a company with no ships, is taking up a £100,000-a-year role advising a leading ports company in return for seven hours of work a week. The ferry contracts (a project that descended into chaos, delays and ended in tears) were later cancelled with costs to the taxpayer estimated as high as £56.6m.
You really couldn’t make this up-nice work if you can get it. Big business rewards incompetence with a fat salary for one day per week’s work. Perhaps Failing Grayling is advising the ports company on how to get government money for places that have no ports. The directors should be on high alert for rocks ahead!
Basically, it proves you can be a gigantic failure and still come out laughing all the way to the bank. MPs usually say they enter politics to serve the country/ their community whereas in actuality Grayling (like many others) proves the point that quite a few of them are in politics solely for self-interest.
But then just look at the number of politicians with second jobs. According to The Committee onStandards in Public Life, one in five holds down a second job on the side which, the Westminster watch dog warned, risks undermining trust in Parliament.
Apart from ex-Chancellor (multi-job) George Osborne who took on extra work while still an MP, take the example of Theresa May (and the thousands she’s earning for speeches as an MP), PM Boris (criticised for failing to seek advice before signing a lucrative contract as a newspaper columnist shortly after resigning as foreign secretary) and ex-attorney-general Sir Geoffrey Cox. He’s often in lists of best-paid MPs. Last year he apologised to Parliament after failing to declare earnings of£400,000+ from work as a barrister.
Trouble is, as the autumnal leaves turn amid increasingly hostile criticisms about testing chaos, a threatened second wave, schools and the economy, is the public’s trust in this Government at risk of being fatally undermined
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Novelist Nora Johnson offers insights on everything from current affairs to life in Spain, with humour and a keen eye for detail.
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