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Respect

Posted by Richard Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Ruminating over our previous piece, as one does, and the issue of "respect" for MPs, it is germane to consider whether the respect goes with the job or the man (or woman) so to speak - and whether you can properly separate them.

Certainly, while I do respect some MPs, as individuals, I do not respect MPs as a generic class. When they, as a collective, start doing the jobs for which they are paid, then they will have my respect.

It is an odd thing respect though. In a kibbutz where I worked for some time in my youth, the management team (this was a multi-million enterprise with major farms, factories, etc.,) all had second jobs, to do with the daily running of the domestic side.

Some did the washing-up in the communal kitchen but the big boss - a combination of chief executive and elected mayor for what was, in fact, a small town and agri-industrial complex - chose to be the dustman. He said it kept him in touch with reality. It made him more accessible to the community and stopped him getting too pompous. He was a lovely man and most definitely had my respect.

Pondering over whether MPs should do something similar, one has to reflect that modern refuse collection equipment (seen a rubbish truck recently?) is so complex that they are not qualified to do the job. They perhaps do less harm where they are.

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