SPARE A THOUGHT FOR THOSE NEEDING A JOB NEXT THURSDAY

JOHN McGURK

We shouldn’t feel too sorry for those who get chucked out of their jobs on election day. But if the polls are correct, the slaughter in Scotland is going to bring much unhappiness especially to those those who’ve held high office.

Danny Alexander, Charles Kennedy, Jim Murphy, Margaret Curran, Douglas Alexander and Alistair Carmichael are all slated to be out on their ears as the SNP bask in their finest hour. The latest prediction is that the nationalists will win every one of Scotland’s 59 seats.

Even if that’s 50% true, we’re heading for the biggest election wipe out in Scotland since all the Tories, except one, were dispatched in 1997.

How will they cope? Who will they turn to? What on earth will they do?

Of course, there’s always the memoirs and it’s likely there’s going to be a rush to the publishers by those who will want to reveal the horrifying truth although only former prime ministers can command the serious money which, in the case of Tony Blair, netted some £5 million.

Then there’s the lecture tours, particularly in America, where those who are big enough names can apparently earn $150,000 for pithy reflections about their time in office although you would need to be Hillary or Bill to make the millions.

More likely, most of our heroes will have to have to rely on their experience from previous careers… and therein lies the problem because none of them have done much to fall back on.

Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has already started to lift the lid on his partnership with George Osborne by claiming that the Tories were ready to cut child benefit and were only stopped by the Lib Dems.

Danny’s experience is as a PR man.

Before becoming the MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey in 2005, he was the press officer for the Cairngorms National Park Authority. Previously, he had worked to promote the the pressure group Britain in Europe having started off as a press officer for the Scottish Lib Dems.

Charles Kennedy, the former Lib Dem leader, has represented Ross, Skye and Lochaber since 1983 when at 23 he became the youngest MP.

But he’s never actually had a job apart from a very short time with BBC Scotland when he left university.

Since he was forced to resign the leadership in 2006 because of an alcohol problem, he is now best known for TV appearances although his last appearance on Question Time had newspapers suggesting that he appeared red-fced and was slurping his words.

Jim Murphy hasn’t had much of a job either.

The Scottish Labour leader spent nine years at Strathclyde University studying politics and European law but never qualified.

He did reach the heights of president of the National Union of Students before working for the Scottish Labour Party and winning Glasgow Eastwood from the Conservatives in 1997.

But that’s it.

Margaret Curran, the shadow Scottish secretary, has been politically active for the Labour party since the 1970s and became an election agent in 1997.

She was elected to he Scottish Parliament in 1999 and became MP for Glasgow East in 2008.

Previously, she was a community worker and then lectured in community education at Strathclyde… it may well be that Jim Murphy was still there at the same time.

Douglas Alexander, the Paisley and Renfrewshire South Labour MP, will either be the next foreign secretary next Thursday or he too will be looking for a new opportunity.

This one time bugler for the 1st Bishopton Company Boys’ Brigade has been a Labour supporter since he was a schoolboy.

After winning a scholarship to University of Pennsylvania, he graduated from Edinburgh and worked as a researcher for Gordon Brown before winning his own seat in 1997.

Apart from that, the outside world of work is a mystery to him.

Alistair Carmichael, the Scottish Secretary and Lib Dem MP for Orkney and Shetland since 2001, was a university drop-out who managed to pull himself back from he brink.

He went on to study law and became a solicitor and then a Procurator Fiscal in Edinburgh and Aberdeen before he became an MP in 2001 and a member of the coalition cabinet in 2012.

So let’s wish them the best of luck in seeking pastures new although if they want to maintain their standards of living they’re all going to have to replace their £67,000 MPs’ salary, generous expenses and paid accommodation in central London.

But since their experience of anything outside of politics is pretty limited, we should not expect anything too spectacular.

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