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April 05, 2009


Frank H Little

that the vast majority of MPs go into politics for the right reasons [...] is implausible. Altruists are only a minority of the general population. And you’d expect MPs to be a smaller minority, because many rational altruists would decide that it is harder to know the right thing to do in policy-making than in more narrowly defined walks of life.
The key words are "rational" and "altruism". Someone with a burning sense of injustice, which is what drives many into politics, is not necessarily rational. Nor does "unselfish" necessarily mean "altruistic". I suggest that at least half of parliamentary candidates stand because they have a cause, which may or may not be a good one, but which does not entail direct personal gain.

Anthony Zacharzewski

You omit the possibility that MPs are selfish, but selfish for non-monetary gains (a sense of having changed the world, chance to brag at parties, desire for personal recognition).

Bob B

In a recent thread here, S&M recommended that book: Economics 2.0 by Norbert Häring and Olaf Storbeck who report, on the basis of many experiments, that not all folks maximise self-interest to the limits. Many are also motivated to maintain a sense of fairness in what they do and I suspect that goes for some MPs to. But whatever else, among the professionals there's evidently no reluctance to maximise the economic benefits of Parliamentary allowances:

"Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper, the Cabinet's 'golden couple,' claimed almost £310,000 in expenses and allowances, the figures disclosed."



What you seem to be saying is that Geoff Hoon and Jacqui Smith are, as MPs go, quite unusually greedy, amoral and thick-skinned.


Ha! He may not have been caught yet, but Brown is the sort of chap who bounced a cheque when he was young. Pah!


As Paul says, for all the abuse levelled at him, no-one accuses Gordon Brown of being on the take.

I don't know what you would call claiming for a second house whilst being supplied with #10 Downing Street & Chequers, but it does sound like on the take to me.

Andy Nicholas

2 free houses and We pay for his own house!
Thieving Liebour scumbag!


Brown claims for a second home when he has a very nice grace&favour place at no10. He also claims his movies and sports package from Sky.

I'm sure both of those are within the rules but it's hardly within the spirit of the rules, unless the spirit of the rules was for MPs to enrich themselves.

I was under the impression the second home allowance and associated expenses were to allow MPs to do their job, nothing more. How does Sky movies and sport enable Gordon to run the country better?


Isn't this an argument for party politics and against non-party politics or (see USA in the past) loose party discipline. The last thing a PARTY wants is to be associated with corruption. So the first line of defence is the party whip system.

John K Lund

Some people are driven by a desire for power and some are driven by a desire for acievement.
Power orientated people are focussed on the approval of others. It gives them a " high" to know that others like, envy and admire them, or must in some way submit to them.
People motivated by achievement, however, care about what is required to make something right, efficient, or effective. It's all about getting the job done as expertly and honestly as possible.

david mcveigh

there a bunch of thief's........lost for words.......feel very let down

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