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August 29, 2011

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Mike Alcock

Thanks, I look forward to it. And of course, there is truth in the idea that costs rise to fit the income available.

Paul Flynn

Thanks Mike for your interesting reply. There are always contradictions and problems in pay rates.

I have just finished writing the book and I will now send it to the publishers. It is based on the vast changes that have taken place in parliament since the first edition of the book in 1997. The book will be published in February. Get in touch then, I'll send you details of a Newport launch.

I have never found the need to use for myself my earnings above my salary.

Mike Alcock

My mum is a Grade F NHS nurse. She has been in the nursing profession for 30 years. I am a software engineer, and have been for 7 years. Already, I earn more than my mum does.

It seems wrong that someone who saves lives for a living earns less than someone who writes programs for the holiday industry. I do not see this as a fair situation, and it irks me slightly on moral grounds.

My point here, really, is to say that politicians play an important role in the future of the country and, by extension, the entire population. Yet I would say that they get a modest salary relative to what they do and the impact they make. While I do not condone what happened in the expenses scandal, to name one of many incidents throughout history, I am not surprised that politicians will attempt to raise money outside their "day job". And neither can I blame them for it, as far as it does not clash with the public interest. I believe that the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

This is not intended as a 'flame' post, rather an attempt to provide an alternative view on the argument. I also agree with and applaud your Commandments, insofar as they do not conflict with the points that I have made above.

If only more politicians were like that, there would be a lot more faith in politics - although, of course, that's precisely your point. Thanks, and keep up the good work!

Paul Flynn

Thanks very much Nic. Are you suggesting that I add a new point about gratification? I am sure your point is right. There are 17 point on the present list. It might be improved up to 20. I'll give it some thought.

Nic Prigg

I think this is a good idea. I would add a parliamentary honour code that MPs have to sign every time they claim for expenses.

The problem with a lot of the suggested reforms to try and establish trust is that its very easy to be tempted by immediate gratification - its what all of us our programmed to do. Its why so many our obese, why so many of us smoke and why so many of us drink, we're seeking immediate gratification.

We can try to punish those who seek immediate gratification through opinion polls or something. The problem with the riots, Cameron sought gratification but he did it in a way that resonated with us. A heck of a lot of people wanted revenge/justice so Cameron's talk of "full force of the law" spoke to us when he was seeking gratification.

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