As the row over MP's pay rumbles on, our local MP (and go to man when you're looking for an outrageous quote) Andrew Bridgen has once again hit the headlines.
When asked about a proposed £6,000 pay rise for MPs on BBC Radio 4's 'World at One' programme Mr Bridgen directly compared his role with that of a Primary School Headteacher:
'MPs are paid about the same as a junior school headmistress or headmaster. I've
got lots and lots of those in my constituency, there is only one MP. I can't
think of another job where there's only 650 of those roles in the whole of Great
Britain that are paid on this sort of level. We expect that we are not going to
earn the money that we could have earned in the private sector but there has to
be some balance in there. To continue to attract people with dependents on a
salary of £65,000 - the right sort of people - I think Parliament is going to
Now, Mr Bridgen is absolutely right there is only one MP in this constituency, and he is right that there are many more headteachers (although many are paid considerably less than £65,000 a year), but to my mind that is where the astuteness of his observations end.
As a governor, as an employee and as a husband I have come to know something of the role of a Headteacher.
I understand that Headteachers often have to manage budgets into the millions.
They are responsible, in many cases, for 50 or more staff (and all of the human resources issues that entails).
They have to be property managers, marketing experts and, all too often, caseworkers.
Most importantly they have to do all of that (and much more) whilst being responsible for the welfare and education of hundreds of children.
And, incidentally, most of them do their role exclusively - they don't have the time to hold down a second job!
Now, not for one second am I suggesting the role of an MP is not vitally important, it is, and MP's should be paid well - around £66,000 seems a suitable sort of figure to me.
But aside from the quantative aspect I cannot see for one second how the role of a backbench MP is substantially more demanding (and essentially deserving of higher pay) than that of a Headteacher, or other similar professional.
So here is a suggestion for Mr Bridgen.
Instead of trying to make a case that MP's are somehow badly done by, how about trying to emulate the dedication, professionalism and indefatigability of our many Headteachers here in North West Leicestershire?
I am sure your constituents would reward you for it.