If you’re a priest, you can be sent anywhere by the church authorities. You live in a church-owned house. That can be a perk – I know various vicars who have been the guardians of lovely houses. But that’s luck. The important principle is that you are guided by your vocation and are willing to carry that out anywhere. Now, MPs should have but one vocation, to serve the country – particularly that bit of country that they represent. All too often, however, they seem more interested in serving themselves. Of course, that’s a gross exaggeration, founded on the MPs who make it into the Media – it is logical that they are self-serving, as self-publicity is a necessary part of that service. However, it’s certainly true that most MPs don’t live in their constituencies before being elected. Some don’t even after that. Ed Balls, for example, lives in his wife’s constituency. (How he’s managed to survive this appalling Rotten Borough lifestyle shows what a self-seeking, self-preserving slug he is, and how utterly corrupt the Labour Party [inter alia] is. Never mind that they ‘flipped’ their houses and dishonestly claimed money from Parliament. This is a disgrace…Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells.)
It seems to me, then, that a Member of Parliament should be there because she or he knows their area well and loves it enough to represent it in our national Parliament. They should be local, with a national interest. Perhaps one way of ensuring this is to rule that candidates have to have resided full-time in their area for a number of years. On the other hand, I may be quite wrong: perhaps the concern of MPs should be national with a local focus. In which case, Parliament could adopt a church policy – of owning the property for its employees. If you want to be a candidate for Lambeth, because it’s a safe Labour seat and you’re a safe Labour apparatchik, you have to be prepared to live in the Lambeth MP’s house. That may, of course, be on some sink estate – as a representative of the area, you shouldn’t be fussy: after all, to serve your constituents is your vocation.