Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Lord Lang Makes The Irrefutable Case For The Reformation Of Ministerial Pensions

Lord Lang is the chairman of something called 'The Advisory Committee on Business Appointments'. Although it sounds like an upscale recruitment consultancy, the sort of outfit one might see advertising a vacancy for a director of holistic change management, heuristic sexual harrassment, transgendered diversity development, and bee-keeping at £100K a pop, its apparent purpose is to screen the potential employment of former ministers. Not whether they are suitable for the employment, you understand, but whether the employment is suitable for them. It sounds like the ministerial version of Remploy, or one of the more inbred jobs for the boys type of Soviet co-operative. Perhaps he should not be described as the 'chairman', but the 'chairperson'. Or even 'chair'. Or, best of all, 'convenor', as if he were running the shop stewards' committee in a Clydeside shipyard in the 1970's. While I am sure he might deplore the comparison, it may be the case that his function and that of the convenor of a shop stewards' committee might not be too different. What goes around comes around, after all, and some convenors of shop stewards' committees might be more equal than others. Power to the people, comrades.
The noble lord, to my mind a dead-ringer for Derek Fowlds, Basil Brush's longest serving straight man, has become the latest Thatcher era High Tory to open their mouth and make the case for a radical cut in their own pension.
While giving evidence to the Commons Public Administration Committee, he is reported to have remarked, concerning his own view regarding the eligibility and fitness to serve of candidates to serve on his committee, that,
"I would hope, however, it would be a lay member who had experience and proven success in a relatively important profession or trade – somebody who had achieved distinction – rather than a waitress or a bus driver."
Hopefully he is more partial to call-centre operators; after all, the government of which he was a part helped make so many of us, by destroying the industries we might otherwise have worked in.
Despite being 70 years old, the noble lord is reported to have many different business interests. A figure so sprightly and energetic as himself would seem to have no need of the state handout he receives in the form of his presumably generous ministerial pension, and accordingly should be means-tested before he receives a penny of aid from the British taxpayer. After all, we're all in this together.
One of the saddest cultural developments in the UK in recent years, perhaps a sign of our terminal civilisational decline, is that so many of our retired politicians seem intent on proving the truth of the maxim that where there's brass, there's muck.



Blogger Richard T said...

it's worth noting that his Lordship may have a few bits of clay sticking to his feet (see Paul Flynn's questioning of him). From this, the fact that a back scratching Committee of the great and the good is set up to give a spurious probity to the revolving door between both political and civil service office and sinecures in the private sector, strangely closely linked to the lucky candidates former work says a great deal about the integrity and honesty of the London establishment. It was called the Old Corruption in the 18th century - plus ca change...

11 February, 2011 10:14  

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