MPs need to deal with their unconscious bias and budgets


There are often public challenges that emerge when it comes to informing and training people who have high profile roles to carry out on our behalf. Sometimes the barriers are ignorance and on other occasions they are arrogance or just denial. Despite this there is a great benefit if we can persuade these individuals to learn important understanding issues. This morning on the Radio 4 Today programme available here there was a interview with the MP for a Lincolnshire constituency called South Holland and the Deepings. I first came across Sir John Hayes back in early 2019 when on the 7th of March he stated “For years I have waited, with a degree of patience that verges on indulgence, for any glimmer of insight or glint of inspiration from Caroline Lucas. Finally, listening to the wireless this week, the eureka moment came, when she persuasively backed a campaign for all children to be taught something of natural history—our native trees, birds, flora and fauna.” I wrote this blog a few days later. The problem with this sort of comment is it reveals how much bias a man like Hayes has had in the past and indeed it is easy having read some of his other comments since that day that he is a man who does have a significant level of bias. I would have thought that the people he represents in Parliament would benefit from some improvement in his understanding. It may well be that his bias is conscious or it may be unconscious, but either way he would potentially benefit from some suitable training. His involvement in the radio programme this morning began 2hrs and 44mins into the 3 hour programme. He was introduced with a quote from one of his colleagues (or indeed it could have been himself) that appeared in the Daily Times that stated

“I would rather gouge my eyes out with a blunt stick than sit through that Marxist snake oil crap”

The training is being piloted for MPs and a group of Conservative’s are refusing to take part in something they say is foolish and a waste of their constituents money. Sir John Hayes pointed out on the radio

I think to spend something like £700,000 of taxpayers money on therapy for MPs …… is it is about re-education and cleansing us. There is a maoist quality to this.

It is clear to me that all 650 MPs would gain a great deal from being informed and educated. Of course the cost of a training course for MPs that would cost £1,000 each would be a significant cost if compared to a £9,000 graduate course which would suggest that that sum represents a month of the university training. On the other hand many training sessions that last a day in commercial settings can cost a £1000 and so depending on how long this training is going to take and what the contributions are involved it may be an extensive amount of money or a suitable way of training these MPs. However in the meantime perhaps the MPs could also consider if all of their funding costs could also be reviewed as some of their claims are deeply problematic!

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
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