Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Latest survey of MP's backgrounds is disappointing

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The latest survey of MP's backgrounds is very disappointing. (Nuffield election studies)

It shows the rise and rise of the professional politician, now the largest group of MP's (90).

The most shocking aspect of our current representation is the number of manual workers which will reflect no doubt the number of working class MP's.
As a skilled graphic designer and pre-press person I am one of the dwindling 25. (though I may accidently be in the 38 listed as publishers).
Teachers, miners, local government civil servants have also lost representation.

So too have barristers but unfortunately at the expense of a few more presumably less qualified solicitors and white collar workers.

Education

Over one third of current MPs have been to fee-paying schools. The proportion varies by party, from 14% of Labour MPs to 39% of Liberal Democrat MPs, to 54% of Conservative MPs.

By comparison, 9% of pupils aged 11 and over in UK schools are in non-maintained (fee-paying) schools. Around three quarters of MPs elected in 2010 were university graduates.

Without real world experience, by selecting people from privileged backgrounds or closeted employment, Parliament loses it's ability to focus on what matters to people, real world outcomes.

On the evidence the Labour party is most representative Party in parliament in terms of gender, background and class.

However the Party needs to ask itself going forward and in the light of these statistics whether it should consider prioritising candidate selection based on background before gender.