Thursday, 26 November 2009

MPs R Us: visiting Parliament reveals a very human mix of personalities and behaviours

We’ve seen the headlines, read the comment threads, heard the conversations in the pubs and over the dinner table: MPs are not like us, they are not good people.

A quick Google search for the phrase ‘MPs are Scum’ gives 137,000 results.

A similar search using the word ‘Vermin’ returns 40,900, the C-word gets 25,000 and ‘MPs are Bastards’ tops them all with 183,000. Admittedly, sometimes it is the odd MP calling other people scum but most of the time the abuse is aimed firmly their way.

Here’s one that stands out:

“These MPs are scum. They are thieves. Their avarice, their grasping mendacious filthy peculation of public funds, their troughing porcine deception, their self-serving self-righteous....”

There’s more but you get the picture.

Intrigued, as we all are by evil and nastiness, this week I ventured into the Commons to meet five of these ‘troughing scum’ and here’s what I found:

-An MP who was obviously so tired he was struggling to keep his eyes open but who still managed to chair a meeting and to ask some intelligent questions .

-A genuinely warm and open young MP who was quieter than usual and who seemed pre-occupied at the meeting. She later tweeted that she was ‘ a bit miffed at being dropped from the BBC Question Time panel at 48hrs notice-because of the Iraq enquiry’. I’d be disappointed too.

-An MP who talked about locking himself in his house and drawing the curtains in the face of a barrage of press attention, and of the effects of all this on his family. This MP is very respected by a great many entrepreneurs and innovators for his willingness to listen to their problems.

-A down to earth and deeply committed woman who breaks all the stereotypes of how a typical MP looks, talks and behaves. If it wasn’t for all women shortlists, she almost certainly wouldn’t even be an MP.

-An ‘old school’ MP who is incredibly knowledgeable about China and Vietnam and who clearly wants to see the UK act as a force for good in those countries. What struck me was that he didn’t have a computer anywhere in his office , so no fancy gadgetry for him on expenses.

All these people were very different in personality, behaviour and politics but they all seemed to share a commitment to serving the public and their country. They have one other thing in common: they are not scum.

Are most of MPs flawed? Certainly. But then, aren’t we all? Help us find Britain’s best MP by interviewing them with your questions- find out how by clicking here.


george82 said...

A common misunderstanding is that by this method a hypothesis can be proven or tested. Generally a hypothesis is used to make predictions that can be tested by observing the outcome of an experiment. If the outcome is inconsistent with the hypothesis, then the hypothesis is rejected. However, if the outcome is consistent with the hypothesis, the experiment is said to support the hypothesis. This careful language is used because custom research papers recognize that alternative hypotheses may also be consistent with the observations. In this sense, a hypothesis can never be proven, but rather only supported by surviving rounds of scientific testing and, eventually, becoming widely thought of as true (or better, predictive), but this is not the same as it having been proven. A useful hypothesis allows prediction and within the accuracy of observation of the time, the prediction will be verified. As the accuracy of observation improves with time, the hypothesis may no longer provide an accurate prediction. In this case a new hypothesis will arise to challenge the old, and to the extent that the new hypothesis makes more accurate predictions than the old, the new will supplant it.

Sarah Hall said...

Thank you a lot for this interesting article. MPs are not like us, they are not good people. Why? I guess that college essay editing service - will figure out the thing.