Our MPs have left Westminster for their Easter break. They have been described variously as “shattered”, “weary” and “exhausted”. Those seemingly endless days of failing to resolve the unresolvable conundrum of Brexit have simply worn them out, poor loves. How on earth did they survive? I’m kidding. If MPs are tired, that’s too bad. Find me the world’s smallest violin.
Allow MPs to tell NHS doctors and nurses just how much they need a break from sitting in the House of Commons. Have a word with care workers, working seven day weeks in exchange for the minimum wage. Explain how hard it has been to people who work in the local hospice. My sympathy for MPs, not that I had very much in the first place, isn’t there anymore.
Lest we forget, MPs get ten days off now. In any event, they have no annual leave allocation like the rest of us because there are no rules on how many hours they must work. I’ve lived in constituencies where the local MP came to visit once a week or sometimes left. Tony Benn, my MP when I lived in Brislington, came down from London on a Friday afternoon, stayed in the luxurious Unicorn hotel in town and returned home on the Saturday afternoon, usually after a public meeting (a speech by Benn was what really happened) and a surgery. That’s not to say he did nothing during the rest of the week. It’s that he could do as much, or as little, as he wanted to do. If he was feeling tired, he could take a break. Not even the party leader can tell an MP to work himself or herself into the ground. My experience is that few of them ever do.
If by chance they do happen to be tired, it’s all well and good, then. Many of them, in both main parties, but mainly the Tories, have helped take the SS Great Britain (2019) a long way up Shit Creek, abandoning the paddles a long time ago. I hope that the likes of Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg and the rest of the posh boys (and girls) who lied to the country only to lie again the next day and the day after that, too are out on their feet. They deserve to be.
Heaven help the MP who explains to a lowly paid constituent, walking home after a back-breaking week at work, hoping there is enough money to put food on the table, how hard their week in the subsidised bars of Westminster has been. I imagine they’d get very short shrift indeed.