What MPs and other politicos do to earn a crust when they leave Parliament/Whitehall, within certain rules, e.g. to prevent lobbying should largely be a matter for them, but even if they are no longer in the public pay I am sure that there are some things to be avoided even if they are entirely legal and above board. They might consider for example issues of reputational damage, not just to themselves but to their party. Tony Blair’s post-government antics have helped neither his reputation nor that of the Labour Party. The sight of Labour peers rushing to be a ‘Lord on the board’ isn’t very edifying either. Naturally, no-one bats an eyelid when Tories do that sort of thing – it’s expected of members of a party that represents the rich, the City and the powerful. One hopes that that tendency, which of course a la Mandelson became prevalent with New Labour will be frowned upon in Corbyn’s Labour.
Of course, the inspiration for today’s blog is the news that ‘Sir’ Nick Clegg is joining Facebook as Vice President for public relations or some such life-enhancing activity. He wrote at length about his heart-rending decision to move to California in today’s Guardian but didn’t find the space to reveal how much the discredited Zuckerberg will be paying him. Now what could get politics a worse name? In answer to that, I doubt Clegg’s move will have much impact: his fifth column support for austerity couldn’t make his name much worse whatever he does.