Hugh Grant has said that politics is like ‘showbusiness for the ugly’, and indeed the ego and narcissism of politicians is often worse than that of celebrities. No argument there.
The majority of politicians are in it for the money which they would never get in the private sector, where ability counts, not party politics.
In Scotland, councils, schools, the police, social housing and hospitals have all had budgets slashed, and every pound spent on an MSP is one that could be spent far more gainfully. The basic MSP salary is £59,089, plus £27,816 if they are a junior minister, plus £44,406 if they are a senior minister. Add generous expenses and gold-plated pensions, and it is obvious that taxpayers are paying far too much for mediocre politicians.
There are 650 Westminster MPs. With a population of about a tenth of England’s, logically Scotland should have one tenth of the number of MSPs, ie 65. In fact there are 129, almost exactly double the logical number.
Think what one could do if the 129 MSPs were reduced to 65 and the Holyrood folly – which, lest we forget, cost £414million to build – were sold.
Can we have a referendum on that, First Minister?