Motivation: Whats it all about?
I often wonder what motivates those who devote their life to politics. Is it to fight injustice, or to devote time to a single issue cause, like Bob Geldof and his battle to end poverty and famine, for example?
Thinking about this reminded me of a former colleague who popped to his local party meeting because his long term relationship had just ended and he needed something to help get through the trauma. There his love of politics was born. I can think of other ways to get over heartache but each to their own!
The same question was put to Newham Mayor, Sir Robin Wales during our interview for this issue. He said it was the shock of deprivation that he witnessed as a young boy growing up in Scotland which prompted an interest. You can read the full interview on P34.
We also ask this question each day on the Total Politics website onthe ‘Daily Politico' page. I looked up some past responses which include: Norman Baker MP who is motivated "to right wrongs", Ann Widdecombe MP replies "to fight Socialism" and Steve Pound MP says "to fight for the weak and powerless".
Talking of those who fight for the weak and powerless, we confront the issue of the number of MPs who currently sit in Parliament in this month's debate (P10). Aside from the fact that there are only enough seats for 420 Members of Parliament do we really need 646 MPs in a country with a population of 60 million? Douglas Carswell MP argues that with a population of almost 306 million, the United States has only 535 congressmen and women. Tom Harris MP provides the counter argument, claiming the number is arrived after careful consideration by the Boundary Commission.
By the nature of this job and politics I don't get much time to flick on the TV and veg out, yet if I wasn't able to get one of the terrestrial channels I probably wouldn't be very happy - for a short while anyway. Ben Duckworth explores the future of TV (P23), with some of the key players in the industry including the deputy chairman of channel 4 Lord Puttnam, ITV's Michael Grade and Jeremy Hunt Shadow Minister for the department for Culture Media and Sport.