BEADLE APPEARS ON POLITICS SHOW

July 3, 2009 6:11 AM

Newcastle North campaigner Ron Beadle appeared on the BBC's The Politics Show to condemn MPs who have second jobs.

Appearing with senior backbench Middlesbrough MP Sir Stuart Bell, Ron Beadle told the show that MPs like Doug Henderson and Alan Milburn should not have second jobs.

Ron Beadle was appearing on the show ahead of new rules coming into force that make MPs give details of the earnings outside Parliament.

He was quizzed by BBC presenter Richard Moss and was asked whether MPs with second jobs was so bad.

"Yes it is so bad because as the people of the film said being an MP and a legislator should be a full-time occupation," Ron Beadle told the show.

"Perhaps if MPs thought governing a country was a full time occupation this country would not in the state its in.

"Does it require MPs to be paid £25,000 a year to work for this company or that company for them to actually understand business.

"Why just not talk to businesses in your constituency if that's the experience as a Member of Parliament you happen to lack.

"As an MP you can go and work in other organisations. You can go and spend a day in your local A&E, you can go out, as I do, with local police officers."

Ron Beadle said there was a distinction between MPs who worked as doctors or dentists - in order to maintain their professional expertise - and MPs who worked as large corporate organisations.

"The issue is the payment," he said.

"Why does Doug Henderson, who is the MP for Newcastle North, earn £25,000 a year for 10 days work with McDonalds, as a GMB-sponsored MP, working for an organisation that has resisted union recognition for 60 years?

"Why does Alan Milburn, as the former Minister for Health, turn up on the board of Lloyd's Pharmacy?

"Why does Tony Blair, who followed American foreign policy more closely than he should have, turn up on the board of one of America's leading financial institutions, JP Morgan?

"Those are the things that stick in the craw, not dentists maintaining their professional expertise."

During the programme, Sir Stuart Bell supported the right of MPs to have outside interests.

"If Sir Stuart is right then every MP should have a second job," Ron Beadle said.

"That's the logic of the argument.

"If the argument is that we can trust our MPs so little that unless they have outside jobs they have so little knowledge of the outside world, what does that say about our MPs?

"If you are spending 10, 20 days outside of constituency work, those are days you could have spent doing constituency work."

To watch the show go to:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00lgdv4/The_Politics_Show_North_East_and_Cumbria_28_06_2009/

To see Ron's appearance fast forward to 31:25.