On this subject, as on so many, MPs are damned if they do and damned if they don't. If they say they will take the pay rise they are greedy; if they claim they won't they are not believed. When trust is so low, and respect for their leadership is so lacking, it is hard to persuade anyone that you are sincere. Effective communication becomes impossible.
Since MPs' pay has clearly fallen below this level, a one-off increase - combined with a rolling back of the expenses structure - is entirely reasonable. The message this conveys in the current climate may not be perfect, but sometimes substance needs to trump symbolism.
I am agreeable to politicians being paid £71k a year, it is a decent salary for a decent day's work, we should not cut corners here if we value real management leadership, or talent will go elsewhere and do something else - which it clearly is currently. What I am questioning is the quality of the fools taking the cash.
The Care Bill is good news for deafblind people and will hopefully lead to a better provision of social care. I believe that this new piece of legislation will be an important step forward for disabled people but we need to ensure that local authorities have the money to back it up and provide the amount of social care that people with disabilities so desperately need to not just get by, but to live full and active lives.
Employee representatives would make the UK fairer for all. They would reduce the excessive salaries we have seen in recent years: energy bosses raking in millions while crippling their customers with eye-watering price rises; or bankers gambling with customers' money while raking in bonuses, despite their losses... Directors won't like it, but it is time the UK economy started working for everyone, not just the 1%.
Whether you agreed or disagreed with Brand's call-for-a-revolution speech, the point I'm making is this - young people DO care about politics. Brand's anti-politics rant struck a chord with young people because he echoed the underlying feeling of a generation frustrated with a political system that they feel 'doesn't represent or care about them'. But that doesn't mean they don't care...
Over the first week of the UN climate change negotiations in Poland we have seen the alarming results of studies showing increased decline of tropical forests. It is clear from newly available data from satellite monitoring stations that there are now growing areas being deforested as a result of illegal logging, agriculture and mining.
Five years' on, maternal health is a UK Government priority, has massive investment, and we are seeing a huge reduction in the number of women and children dying in childbirth globally. Choose the right issue at the right time, and a Parliamentary inquiry really can change the debate - and more importantly, change lives.
The Current Account Switch Service was introduced with a minimum of fuss and, in the face of continuing revelations about rate-rigging, mis-selling, rogue-traders and the rest, it will help the industry rebuild consumer trust.
We should lower the voting age, and introduce compulsory voting- with a 'none of the above' option - in local and national elections. Russell Brand's performance with Jeremy Paxman was electrifying TV, but dangerous. People should get involved. They should vote. And they should get into politics in whatever way can make a difference.
It's been two weeks since Russell Brand was on the BBC Newsnight programme telling Jeremy Paxman that voting is a waste of time. Since then, it feels a little like democracy itself has been drowned in a political cacophony as Brand lovers and haters debate his prediction of revolution in the UK.
Why did the Jeremy Paxman and Russell Brand Newsnight interview go viral last week? Whichever side you take, it is unarguable that Brand struck a chord regarding the public mistrust of Parliament and apathy about politics in general. Can the UK's political class turn this around?
Russell Brand for PM some shout and if he's ever to seize the keys to Number 10, here are three ideas I think could help him solve some of his major grievances with the world today.
Beguiling, attractive slogans, with their wonderful certainty that there are simple answers to complex questions. What Brand says is not only daft but dangerous. It's dangerous because he is a clever man with influence, and when he says: "Apathy is a rational reaction to a system that no longer represents, hears or addresses the vast majority of people", there is a real risk that some people - especially young people - will take him seriously. The core of his message is: "I will never vote and I don't think you should, either." He presents it as a message of hope, when in fact it is precisely the opposite. It is a message of despair.
It has been said that the British political system is bankrupt. One scandal after another has seen people lose faith in Britain's institutions and in the political process as a whole. A new paradigm way of thinking is needed. Is this mere unhelpful rhetoric, or genuinely the deal?
This week there will be two debates in the House of Commons on an issue that the Government has been doing its best to bury - Air Passenger Duty (APD). It's often cited that the UK has the world's highest air passenger tax anywhere in the world, and over the next few days MPs will, once again, be debating just how much of an impact it is having on the economy and on ordinary people's ability to travel.