I’ve done it again, I’m afraid. Every year at about this time, Parliament votes in favour of an absurdly long summer break. And this year, yet again, I was one of the small number of MPs who voted against it.
You’d have thought MPs would realise that politicians are unpopular enough already, what with all the scandals over expenses and sleaze, without giving themselves a three month long summer break as well. It’s more than twice most people’s entire annual holiday entitlement, without counting the other breaks over Christmas and Easter as well.
So I went through the ritual of making my lonely protest again this year. The good news is that I’m making some progress. More MPs joined me in voting against it than last year, including most of the Conservative Party, so the majority is falling steadily.
The only excuse for such a long time off is to spend most of it back in the constituency, working on local residents’ problems and cases. To be fair, plenty of MPs do exactly that. I’m taking two weeks off on holiday with my family, for example, and then it’s back to the grindstone like everybody else.
This year will be a little different too. Now I’m working for Ken Clarke as Conservative spokesman for Business, my diary is full of ideas and discussions with business people on how to survive the recession, and what a future Conservative Government should do to promote jobs and wealth creation. They’ve asked me to write the Party’s policy on slashing red tape too, so I shall be thinking hard. My first thought was to put all the silly and unnecessary regulations in a big pile, light a match and stand well back. But I’m told that’s a bit simplistic. Back to the drawing board…….