Stella Creasy’s Maternity Leave Whine – But Why Do We Have Elections In The First Place?

Stella Creasy is whining about maternity arrangements for MPs. She will, as and when the time comes, remain on full pay for as long as she desires to not go to Westminster etc. No one at all will check up on what she does nor how she does it. The cheques, from us, just keep arriving. Her job will be held open until the next election just like that of every other MP.

It’s probably the sweetest maternity deal in the world. This is not enough:

Women are forced to choose between being an MP and being a mum because of Parliament’s rules, a pregnant MP says. Labour MP for Walthamstow Stella Creasy says Ipsa – the body which regulates MPs’ pay – have made it “impossible” to fulfil her responsibilities to her constituents once her baby is born. That’s because Ipsa does not automatically provide paid cover for MPs on parental leave.

MPs themselves are paid in full for the whole period.

Paid cover, eh?

Now consider our basic method of democracy. As Burke pointed out we do not choose delegates. We choose representatives. People whose judgement we trust to go off and do that governing thing for us. It is a standard part of the British deal that we elect a specific individual. That’s the whole point of the election itself.

That’s why Stella Creasy got elected – because the voters in that constituency specifically chose Stella Creasy. This is not, as with euro-elections, a selection from a party list, where if an MEP dies, resigns, retires, the next person on the party list steps up. Nope – Stella Creasy got elected and if she goes then there’s another election to select another specific individual.

Which is, of course, why there is no such thing as paid cover. Because we’re not covering a job, a party, a point of view, we’re talking about an individual.

At which point now let’s set up something truly interesting. Say that we do all decide to go mad and change our minds. What happens when an election is called in the middle of such maternity leave, paid cover? Do we not have an election in a constituency where the MP is on maternity – or paternity – leave? Something like the Speaker’s constituency where the form is not to directly compete?

Do we make it something more formal?

Or do we just go, ah, well, that’s tough innit? If you the individual can’t get out there to collect the votes for you as an individual then there we are? Actually, given that Stella’s going to be on the TV screens for the next few days talking about this we offer that up as a question for an enterprising interviewer to ask.

What does Ms Creasy think should be the arrangements for an MP on maternity leave in the event of an election? For absolutely every argument she is deploying about how unfair the current system is applies there too. So, what should the system be?

9
Leave a Reply

avatar
7 Comment threads
2 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
7 Comment authors
Matt RyanQuentin VoleJonathan HarstonPatthammond Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
nae a belger
Guest
nae a belger

It’s not just Stella though. She will be paired so if she can’t make it for votes then her pair is automatically off as well.
Constituency work & surgeries can be done by someone arranged by the MP’s party.
As regards the debating/committee work there is a problem. However in our system I don’t think we can really do much about it

Leo Savantt
Guest
Leo Savantt

She is asking for you and I to support her so that she won’t have to be there for her child. My response can’t be expressed politely, so I won’t express it.

thammond
Guest
thammond

Person forced to make choice because they are not getting everything they want paid for by others. And they say the UK is a full of entitled whiners.

Quentin Vole
Guest
Quentin Vole

MPs insist (quite reasonably) on being treated as self-employed for tax purposes. Self-employed individuals don’t normally get paid maternity (or sickness) leave. If I don’t work, I don’t get paid – which is just how I like it.

Pat
Guest
Pat

Surely if maternity leave is necessary that is proof that combining a job with motherhood is not possible. If it is merely desirable then that shows that the combination is undesirable. Despite the propaganda of decades a woman cannot have it all, not all at the same time. The lady could well afford a nanny if she thinks her public duties outweigh her private ones. She could resign her seat in order to carry her personal duties out to her own satisfaction. And she has control of the timing. What she evidently can’t do is carry out properly both her… Read more »

Jonathan Harston
Guest
Jonathan Harston

Constituency work *is* done by other people.

If Ms Creasy wants time off from being an MP, she’s perfectly at liberty to do so and apply for a Crown Position.

Matt Ryan
Guest
Matt Ryan

Given her ability to open her trap and spout ill thought out ideas, one wonders what value she is adding as an MP?

Ah, she’s Labour – that explains part of it. Not the part where most of the others are crap as well though. Just that Labour seems to have more than it’s fair share of crap MPs – Jess (“thick as mince”) Phillips and Rebecca Long-Bailey for a couple of examples.

Quentin Vole
Guest
Quentin Vole

You forgot the Abbopotamus! (I’ve been trying to do that for at least the last decade.)

Matt Ryan
Guest
Matt Ryan

Indeed, however if she managed to recruit 10,000 police officers for £300,000 it’d be a pretty impressive task!