Our PLP rebels are out-and-out traitors. They are also out-and out careerists. Once and for all we must put an end to such types exploiting the Labour Party for their own narrow purposes. Being an MP ought to be an honour, not a way to secure a lucrative living.
A particularly potent weapon here is the demand that all our elected representatives should take only the average wage of a skilled worker. A principle upheld by the Paris Commune and the Bolshevik revolution. Even the Italian Communist Party under Enrico Berlinguer applied the ‘partymax’ in the 1970s. With the PCI’s huge parliamentary fraction this proved to be a vital source of funds.
Our MPs are on a basic £67,060 annual salary. On top of that they get around £12,000 in expenses and allowances, putting them on £79,060 (yet at present Labour MPs are only obliged to pay the annual £82 parliamentarian’s subscription fee to the party). Moreover, as leader of the official opposition, Jeremy Corbyn not only gets his MP’s salary: he is entitled to an additional £73,617.12
We in LPM say, let them live on the average skilled worker’s wage – say £40,000 (plus legitimate expenses). Then, however, they must hand the balance over to the party. Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Diane Abbott should take the lead.
The partymax would give a considerable boost to our finances. Even if we leave out Labour’s 20 MEPs from the calculation, with 229 MPs it would amount to roughly £900,000 extra. Anyway, whatever our finances, there is the basic principle. Our representatives ought to live like ordinary workers, not pampered members of the middle class.