Articles

Your application for the job has been unsuccessful

In Uncategorized on January 15, 2011 by grahamharrowell

You can be sent to prison for up to 12 months and still remain an MP. At least that’s what I’m being told. A fairly random limit but it seems that if you’re given more than a year you are automatically disqualified from office.

Eric Illsley has been convicted on a guilty plea and, if what’s happened to his former colleague is anything to go by, can expect more than 12 months inside and therefore disqualification. So why is everyone demanding his resignation?

For a start he can’t just resign. The quaint and out dated rules of the boys’ club insist that once elected you have to stay until the electorate who sent you there get fed up with you or you are somehow disqualified. So Eric can wait, and if he does get a 12 month stretch then the matter is sorted. Otherwise he has to go through the silly rigmarole of applying for an office for profit under the Crown, being given it, being disqualified from Parliament as a result and then resigning the Stewardship of the Chiltern Hundreds or whichever of the permanently vacant jobs he takes. The whole thing is a farce and if an MP wants to resign why shouldn’t he or she be allowed to? I don’t think they have to put on a silk opera hat to make a point of order these days although they do have to stand up to be audible.

It’s all a bit reminsicent of the old days in the Soviet Union when a party member could not be arrested. All well and good until that bleak morning when the local party secretary knocks at your door, informs you that you’ve been expelled from the party and then stands aside to let the police in. In fact, rather like Eric’s experience.

My point though is whether it would be proper for the Crown to give Eric the job of Steward of the Chiltern Hundreds even if he applied. Surely we shouldn’t be giving government jobs to people with recent criminal records for dishonesty. Besides, the Conservative government has put a freeze on recruitment to the public services so surely the post can’t be up for grabs. “I’m sorry Eric but the job’s not available. Even if it were you’d be ruled out. No CRB certificate, I’m afraid. You’ll have to stay and perhaps be disqualified.The Chiltern Hundreds will have to steward themselves until the economy perks up. Perhaps we can get some volunteers to look after them.”

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One Response to “Your application for the job has been unsuccessful”

  1. Are you suggesting we leave the aforesaid Hundreds to the tender mercies of the Big Society?

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