Hague defends outside interests

Much news and political debate has surrounded the outside interests of MP’s. William Hague is the latest to be thrown into the headlines as he defends his outside interests.

Mr Hague is well known for after dinner speeches, charging up to £10,000 and holding a series of directorships.

Should MP’s be allowed to have other interests (meaning additional jobs, roles etc) outside politics?

Many of our Ulster MP’s have additional interests.

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  • I don’t think MP’s outside jobs could ever be properly policed to ensure that they weren’t taking time away from constituency work or that they were ethical. MP’s are used to dodging watchdogs and there are 600-odd to police. For this reason, I don’t think they should be allowed to have other interests.

    What could the punishment be though if it was found that they did?

  • frustrated democrat

    We want people of high calibre in politics, we shouldn’t stand in the way of them trying to make up at least some of the income they have lost.

  • Outrage!

    Should MP’s be allowed to have other interests (meaning additional jobs, roles etc) outside politics?

    I’m shocked at you Andrew!

    Many of the DUP members have outside interests.

    Daring to ask that question would suggest they shouldn’t.

    But we all know the DUP are perfect so if they have these interests it must therefore be ok.

  • Jimmy Sands

    The bit that puzzles me is that there are businesses prepared to pay for advice from the man who led the tories’ 2001 election campaign.

  • Dave

    Democracies would function for the better if they did not allow politics to become a career. It should be a public service that is performed by the great and the good for the nation rather than a job that is performed by mediocre, self-serving hacks that are devoid of exemplary achievement. Term limits would solve that problem, and educating the public to make more intelligent choices would also help.

    If you want the great to serve, then you have to allow that they may have business interests which could present a potential conflict of interest but that declaring such interests and electing people of integrity will alleviate those conflicts along with appropriate monitoring. You will not get the great to serve if you demand that they sacrifice all other interests. The alternative of only electing those with no business experience is much worse, and only serves the career politicians who have no real-world accomplishments.

    In the case of Hague, most of his outside ‘interests’ directly result from his career choice of politics. That is part and parcel of electing self-serving hacks.

  • Glencoppagagh

    It’s actually a bit sad that local MP’s have so few outside interests, or at least that they own up to. It underlines their mediocrity.
    It’s hard to see any of them ever being paid £10,000 for a speech, more like £10 petrol money if they’re lucky.

  • ggn

    I believe that politicians should have outside interest, it adds to their expertise and life experience.

    In west Belfast for example, it is seen as completely unacceptable for a Republican to acquire wealth.

    I think that is bullshit.

    It annoys the hell out of me that if I had an idea, ran with it, made money, paid my taxes and was involved in politics then somehow I would be illegitamate.

    Horseshit in fact.

    Most people may disagree with me on this. Too embroiled in the ‘community sector’?

    I think people like Màirtìn O Muilleoir are (far from perfect!) valuable assets and that owning a big car isnt that big of a sin, especially if you bought it!

  • autocue

    What about UUP peer Lord Kilclooney, the only man in Northern Ireland for whom the phrase “I’m just nipping out to buy a newspaper” has a very literal meaning!!!