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  • rmacculloch

Is being a Kiwi Backbench Member of Parliament "a rubbish job"?

There was a time when former Finance Minister, Bill English, used to have an Academic Advisory Economics Group I used to attend. I remember him saying when he retired from politics & stepped down from the Southland electorate how the Nats were finding it hard to find someone to replace him & represent that seat in Parliament, even though it was one of the safest Nat seats in the country.

Add to that how Sir John Key couldn't wait to get the heck out of Parliament as soon as he was no longer Prime Minister. Add to that how PM Ardern will almost certainly bail out of Parliament and do the same once she finishes up.

The Times in the UK sums it up nicely as follows:

"As so often in British politics, the rot set in with Tony Blair. When he stepped down as prime minister, he made clear that he had no intention of remaining a mere backbench MP. It was bad enough having to confine his talents to a poxy backwater like Britain. But Sedgefield?

At the time, the decision was greeted by widespread harrumphing - not helped by the distinctly “it’s the country that got small” vibe he gave off as he swapped constituency surgeries for private jets.

But what Blair was the first to articulate, though very much not the last, is that being an MP is an increasingly rubbish job".


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