Opinion: He’s just not that into you (Or Why the Rt Hon. Oliver Letwin MP has to go)

There is a problem in your kitchen. Your pipes are leaking and you need somebody to solve the problem before it gets worse. Therefore you hire a plumber. You would expect that this plumber would commit 100% of their efforts to solving your problem without hesitation or question. It would be outrageous if your plumber stopped halfway through their job (with your kitchen all over the floor, your pipes hanging out still leaking) to take up another paid opportunity somewhere else.

The people of West Dorset collectively hired a “plumber” at a rate of £63,291 per year with expenses over £150,000, who is expected to commit 100% towards helping to solve problems and progress our society to ensure that it is safer, fairer, greener and more efficient. However it would appear that the people of West Dorset are simply a part-time interest?

I was livid when I learnt this month that our Conservative parliamentary representative, the prestigious Oliver Letwin, had requested a less demanding role within the Conservative party so that he could pursue a city career as a Non-Executive Director for the NM Rothschild bank whilst “representing” the people of West Dorset.

During these times of recession, parents are sitting at their kitchen tables after the children have gone to bed, worrying about rising food and energy costs, how they are going to keep up with the mortgage, credit card payments, how they are going to keep up with car payments. Our rural roads are suffering; elderly people are not getting enough support and dignity to live in their own homes, day-care centers are being shut down, pubs are struggling to survive, military veterans are not getting the support they deserve, public transport is a disgrace, the county-council has wasted millions on consultants and has lost millions more though Iceland bank failures and the Madoff fraud.

After 12 years on the job, West Dorset’s pipes are still leaking. It’s time for a change. It’s time to get a new plumber?

* Kasch Wilder is a Liberal Democrat member and activist in West Dorset.

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  • Don’t worry.

    Letwin means that he is giving up on serious politics; probably because he has realised that Cameron will not give him a plum Ministerial job.

  • Steve Travis 27th Apr '09 - 11:18am

    In practice how much constituency work does a Minister have time to do?

    Sorry – agree with Bernard above on this one.

  • “3) The life of an MP can be a precarious one.”

    True – but it would be an interesting study to find out what ex MPs are earning 12 months after they have been voted out. It’s not like its a job which leaves you without the skills, experience and contacts to get future employment!

  • all very understandable and gd points, especially those from Bernard Salmon.

    The point behind this was not about MP’s in general and their business interests. In this economic climate, you would expect your rep to be supporting his constit to the best extents possible, and this is certainly not happening in West Dorset. The man is hardly ever here unless it is politically critical to his position. Some of the language used was in hindsight a tad too strong and slightly ignorant, but the point still stands. Its about commitment. Sure, business interests can still be retained however in this case there is a serious lack of effort to keep up with the constituency. So why not suggest for that reason that he should go, especially when there is a Liberal Democrat candidate more than capable of representing the constituency to better extents?

  • Writing from an adjacent constituency (South) I would suggest that a check on what OL is claiming in second homes allowance might be a worthwhile angle.
    If he is being reimbursed for London accommodation from the public purse while he is being paid to work there in a private capacity – and for a (whisper it not) investment bank – the public reaction is unlikely to be favourable.

  • The question is surely whether OL is representing the people of West Dorset well, not what else he may be doing.

    An MP with no outside interests who sits in their constituency watching television all day would be useless. But I can imagine that there are hard working MPs who also have paid outside interests but still do great work in their constituencies. I assume, for example, that Vince Cable will earn a decent sum from his recent book, but any opponent who said that he should have spent more time campaigning for his local pubs and less time writing a book would be silly. There is more to being an MP than local campaigning.

    And as for saying that OL being a Director of a Bank is beyond parody, well, what next? If Rothschilds are advising asset strippers who are ruining firms in West Dorset fair enough, but otherwise it sounds like “Oo, Letwin is a capitalist, we can’t have that.”

    Let us oppose Letwin at the next election with vigour. But let us do so because he will be standing on a manifesto that is likely to be markedly inferior to the LD one, and because he represents a party whose instincts are frequently nasty, not because he chooses to spend time working for a Bank.

  • Still holding onto that stolen cash that was given to you by that fraudster Brown?

    Give it back, then you can get all pious.

    As for Oliver Letwin. Your past attacks on this issue of his directorship smacked of Jew baiting. They didn’t work in the 2001 or 2005 opponent character assassination phase of the Lib Dem Parliamentary campaigns, so smell the coffee.

  • You are hoist by your own petard, “Old Hack”. If it is anti-Semitic for Lib Dems to criticise Oliver Letwin, then it is surely equally anti-Semitic for David Cameron to freeze him out of his inner circle.

  • You should see your local literature which painted Letwin as some sort of Shylock.

    No comment on your stolen loot I note. …….

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