It seems that Hazel Blears's speech to the Hansard Society has been reported in two halves; with most media outlets focusing on her comments about blogs. Therefore, I managed to miss what she said about 'career politicians'. She said:
"There is a trend towards politics being seen as a career move rather than call to public service. Increasingly we have seen a 'transmission belt' from university activist, MPs' researcher, think-tank staffer, special adviser, to Member of Parliament and ultimately to the front bench."
"We need more MPs in Parliament from a wider pool of backgrounds: people who know what it is to worry about the rent collector's knock, or the fear of lay-off, so that the decisions we take reflect the realities people face."
So I thought I'd take a look at Hazel Blears's career to make sure she doesn't fall into her own trap. Here we go:
1977 - Completes CPE (the professional course for solicitors) at Chester College of Law.
1978 - 1980 - Trainee solicitor working for Salford City Council.
1980 - 1981 - Worked in private legal practice for a year.
1981 - 1983 - Solicitor working for Rossendale Borough Council.
1983 - 1984 - Solicitor working for Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council.
1984 - 1992 - Elected member of Salford City Council.
1992 - 1996: Chairman of Salford Community Health Council.
1997 - Elected Member of Parliament for Salford.
Her route to Parliament isn't exactly the same as the example she has given, but then her example is a fairly common route for Conservative MPs (and a few Labour ones). Hers is still a pretty standard route for a Labour politician though; council employee, to council member, to council chairman, to MP. So it seems that the one year she spent in private practice is the only period of time when she wasn't working in politics.
Opinium/Observer – CON 40, LAB 43, LDEM 6
2 hours ago