What exactly is a ‘proper job’? I only ask because apparently I don’t have one. Yes, despite running two companies (one in the UK and one in the US) which between them employ 26 people, I don’t actually have a ‘proper job’. And I know this because some people in the comments of this blog post said so.
Ok, I’m being flippant, but there is a serious point in this. For many, the mere fact that a person works in the political or communications arena means that their job isn’t ‘proper’. It’s a fake job. One that’s probably quite easy and shields them from the harsh reality of the real world. Yes, if you work for a company operating in the political arena, in public affairs, political journalism or are a researcher, wonk or political advisor, you don’t have a ‘proper job’. Bollocks.
The last time I checked, people who work in those fields which aren’t ‘proper’ still have to pay rent or a mortgage, still have to make time to buy the groceries, still have to balance work and family, still have to do all the other things that employed people do.
For sure, let’s debate about the merits of professional politicians who enter parliament never knowing any other work than wonk, party advisor or SpAd (and, for the record, I’m of the view that such career trajectory is a fundamentally bad thing). But don’t for a second try to contend that any of those jobs aren’t ‘proper’.