Matthew Syed on the revolving door between politics and business

Matthew Syed has an article in the Sunday Times today about the so-called "revolving door" in which politicians and civil servants who have regulated an industry then get jobs in it.

He cites UK examples involving members of all the main parties at the highest level and other examples demonstrating that this also happens around the world in other countries including the USA and several European states.

Up to now my view on this has been that it is OK as long as there are rules in place requiring a decent gap between when someone leaves office and when they can be offered a job in the industry they used to regulate when they held office, so that they are no longer in a position to offer amendments to government policy when they get the job offer, and that those rules should be strictly enforced.

Syed makes a strong case that the present time limits are not nearly long enough and he suggests a time delay of seven years. I think all the parties - and I stress, former ministers of all the main parties have done this, nobody is in a position to say "other parties have done this but we have not" - need to look very seriously at what Syed is saying. You can read his article here.


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