David McNarry on the cost of double jobbing MPs…

In practical terms, Westminster is by far the most stable job in Northern Irish politics. Councils are still waiting on the horse trading to finish over the RPA and who knows what’s to happen with the Assembly when the incumbents of semi detached polit-bureau (aka OFMdFM) have dealt with all their domestic row over policing and justice. But it is interesting to hear someone from inside the Ulster Unionist unambiguously lay out the absences of Northern Irish MPs from the bigger set pieces at the Palace of Westminster. This from his presser:

Taking the week ending Friday 4 December as an example, the Commons debated the Queen’s Speech, the Financial Services Bill, Fisheries, the Equality Bill, European Affairs, the Economy, Work and Pensions, Climate Change – all of these applied to Northern Ireland. Out of a total of 11 debates that week 8 applied to Northern Ireland. Not one of our MP’s was on the relevant bill committee relating to these bills.”

“This dismal picture of non-involvement by Northern Ireland Double Jobbing MP’s is replicated across the select committees of the House of Commons. We have no Northern Ireland MP’s on the Treasury Select Committee, the Public Accounts Committee, the Justice Committee, the Home Affairs Committee, the Foreign Affairs Committee, the European Scrutiny Committee, the Energy Committee, the Defence Committee, the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee, the Armed Forces Bill Committee or the Reform of the House of Commons Committee. So none of them is playing any part in any of the key committees which all affect the lives of people in Northern Ireland.”

“Outside the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee, on which only four Northern Ireland MPs sit out of a total membership of thirteen, only two double jobbing MP’s serve on any committees – Nigel Dodds serves on the Member’s Allowances Committee and on the Statutory Instruments Committee while Jeffrey Donaldson serves on the Transport Committee.”

“We have no Northern Ireland double jobbing MP’s on the Treasury Select Committee, the Public Accounts Committee, the Justice Committee, the Home Affairs Committee, the Foreign Affairs Committee, the European Scrutiny Committee, the Energy Committee, the Defence Committee, the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee, the Armed Forces Bill Committee, the Reform of the House of Commons Committee, the Reform of the House of Commons Committee. So none of the double jobbers are playing any part in any of these key committees which affect the lives of all our people.”

“As far as their claim to be able to run two or three jobs at once, I say once again – just who do these people think they are kidding? In 2010 Northern Ireland needs new MP’s who will do a proper job of work for their constituents and who will do only one job.”

PS, has anyone briefed the Minister of Health?

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  • mr nasty

    Great puff piece from McNarry, but:-

    (a) What was the situation when there were more UUP MP’s and McNarry was working for David Trimble MP MLA First Minister? Were UUP MP’s any better at turning up for debates? I remember doing a day’s business in London once and Cecil Walker was on the same plane out as me and the same plane back.

    (b) As there are only 11 or 13 places on nearly all Commons committees, what is the proportionate allocation for N Ireland? 18 out of 650 gets about one place on every fourth committee by my maths.

  • Driftwood

    No mention of Lady Sylvia?
    But he has a very good point. The National Parliament in Westminster is where our political life should be played out. The nursery school pretendy assembly at stormont might be good for bunfights, but the real thing happens in London.

  • Panic, These ones like it up em.

    Perhaps Westminister should deny political parties that are unable/unwilling to make devolution work in their home parliaments access to the westminister parliament.

    NI politicians are costing a lot and do not seem to be able to get anything done anywhere.

  • Neil

    Sure wasn’t Gregory Campbell on the radio saying it would be impossible for him to stop double jobbing as he’s the only man good enough for the job, and not only that the taxpayer saves money as it costs less to pay him twice than it would to pay him for one job and someone else for t’other.

    Unfortunately for the new guys Campbell doesn’t rate you enough to allow someone else to earn a living.

  • iluvni

    A few of them werent even there for Northern Ireland questions today.
    I see Lady Sylvia was in place though so I wont have to ring her office up and receive a lecture for daring to ask from the hectoring oul harpy who answers her phones!

  • Garza

    Gregory Campbell is the best man for the job?

    What about the amount of talent coming through the DUP’s ranks that they were bragging about? Wheres that gone?

  • Drumlins Rock

    think they were talking about their own children Graza, lining them up for to take over, but thats not so good an option these days.

  • Big Bopper

    Will Jim Allister be exchanging small talk on the opposition benches with Lady Sylvia, or will she be viewing him from the Tory side?

  • Couldn’t comment – shouldn’t

    Surprisingly lucid for David McNasty.

    But as other have said he has a point – there should be a non party political campaign not to vote for any double jobber.

    Regardless of party or constituency or reason the public should demand one man/women one job.

    reject the toadies

  • Comrade Stalin

    Yes, but didn’t Slasher McNarry run in Lagan Valley in 2001 while he was still an MLA ? If he had won he would have been one of those double jobbers.

    And out of the 18 Westminster seats that were up for grabs in 2005, Ulster Unionist MLAs stood for election in 11 of them.

    I’m not convinced that the voting public take this double jobbing stuff as seriously as the somewhat forgetful politicians who are trying to make hay out of it.

  • Jack Black

    Not much accurate about your comment CS. David McNarry became an MLA in 2003 and ran in STrangford in 2001. And a good number of UUP MLA’s standing for parliament committed to stand down from the assembly if elected.