I’m not an economist…well, I say that, but I did do an ‘A’ level in economics when I was 18. I got an unclassified grade, but that’s mainly because on the date of a crucial exam my girlfriend’s parents weren’t at home. We don’t need to go into the details. I made my choice and I stand by it.
Not being an economist nobody was more surprised than me when, out of the blue, I was struck by a brilliant idea to transform employment in the UK. My inspiration was none other than our last chancellor of the exchequer, Mr George Osborne.
You may have missed it, but today there was a low-key piece of news that, alongside his four other jobs and his MPing, Mr Osborne is to become the editor of one of those free papers that’s given out on local transport systems.
It struck me that MPs never seem to have a problem walking into highly paid jobs, no matter how comically inept they’ve proved to be during their time in office. It’s a tried and tested system; become and MP, ker-ching, six figure salary for life – often for just part-time work. The only real downside to it is that it’s so slow.
This is the heart of my new proposal, which I’m calling MP for a day.
Every day a new batch of MPs, chosen randomly from those who haven’t previously served, turn up, do a day governing the country and then walk into a cushy senior management job, making way for the next lot of MPs the next day.
The House of Commons sits for around 160 days per year and there are 650 MPs so, just like that, we can put over 100,000 people a year into solid top-tier jobs. We can start with the long-term unemployed, then move on to the low-waged and so on. Pretty damn soon everyone in the country will be rich, without any of the down-sides of capitalism or, god forbid, any socialism.
I think my system would still give us a functioning government as well. We could get rid of political parties, elections, manifestos and all that tedious crap. Every day the country would be governed by a random sample of its population. We’d have true proportional representation. A few people could be picked each day to introduce a new bill or scheme; more money for the NHS, invade Iceland, make chalk illegal, whatever, and then they could all debate it and vote on it. There’d be no conflict of interests, because by the time they’d been head-hunted they’d be virtually out the door anyway.
I used to think that this scheme was unworkable, because more strategy and long-term planning was involved in governing the country, but Brexit has shown me that it’s clearly not, so that’s alright.
We could even – and this is a big plus – we could even get rid of the tedious twats who write things about how maybe we could afford to fund the NHS properly if MPs didn’t have pay-rises and expenses, as if there weren’t orders of magnitude between these costs. In the MP for a day scheme the position will be unpaid (but as they’ll be stepping into £100,000+ jobs that hardly seems a hardship), and expenses will be a 1st class train ticket or economy air-fare from wherever they live to London and back, plus £18 to buy a sandwich and a can of Fanta from Pret A Manger.
Wrapped up in one simple scheme then we have a means to end poverty, end divisive partisan politics, end a whole sub-genre of Facebook comments and bring about a golden age of job opportunity and equality. And it’s all thanks to George Osborne.