Jordan Peterson clashes with SNP MP after claiming politicians take ‘big hit’ in career to enter field

‘It’s very difficult for people who are managing a political career to also simultaneously manage their own stable finances and economic development,’ says controversial Canadian psychologist

Chiara Giordano
Friday 19 November 2021 16:07
Jordan Peterson clashes with SNP MP after claiming politicians take ‘big hit’ in career to enter field

Jordan Peterson was shut down by an SNP MP on Question Time after claiming politicians often give up “staggeringly successful” careers to enter the field.

Responding to an audience member’s question about whether laws should be introduced in regard to MPs’ second jobs, the controversial Canadian psychologist said: “It’s very difficult for people who are managing a political career to also simultaneously manage their own stable finances and economic development.

“A lot of people take a big hit in their career development to enter politics, it’s a very unstable lifestyle.”

However SNP MP Stephen Flynn, who could be seen shaking his head, cut him off to argue people enter politics on “an incredibly good salary”.

“As a politician I’d interject and say it’s not, by the way,” said Mr Flynn, who represents Aberdeen South, adding: “Certainly not an impediment in any way, shape or form.”

He said: “When we enter politics we do so, first of all knowing what the salary is, and it’s an incredibly good salary by the way, particularly for people from my sort of background, but more important is the sacrifice we all want to make to try and make people’s lives better. That’s the most important thing.”

Mr Peterson also argued most politicians get into politics for genuine reasons – but Mr Flynn claimed the events of recent weeks had shown that not always to be the case.

“The last few weeks have shown in the UK that it’s not been genuine, people have been feathering their own nest to try and suit their own means as opposed to looking after the public’s interests,” he said.

His remarks come following Owen Paterson’s resignation as MP for North Shropshire earlier this month after he was found to have breached guidelines by lobbying on behalf of companies paying him more than £100,000.

The former Tory cabinet minister quit after Boris Johnson’s government performed a U-turn over a decision to block his suspension with plans to create a Conservative-dominated committee to rewrite House of Commons sleaze rules.

The events sparked a fortnight of sleaze rows and ended with the Commons voting for a ban on consultancy jobs.

SNP MP Stephen Flynn clashed with Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson on BBC Question Time

Mr Peterson later clashed with an audience member over corruption in politics during the BBC programme after saying people with “staggeringly successful” careers “often loathe” to go into politics because they have to put their job on hold, which “deprives” us of some of the best people.

A member of the public said they were “obviously not the best people” as some current politicians were “corrupt”. But Mr Peterson said “it’s just not true”.

“Most people who are successful in their given field aren’t corrupt,” he said, adding: “I know people like to think that but it’s just not true.”

Nazir Afzal, for chief crown prosecutor for northwest England, received applause during the show, broadcast from Beckenham on Thursday night, after suggesting politicians should drive HGVs as a second job.

“I don’t mind them having second jobs, so long as it’s stacking the shelves in supermarkets, HGV lorries or picking fruit because then they’ll understand the consequences of their decisions,” he said.

“I also think if you work in a public service - doctor nurse social worker - there’s some value in doing that because as ministers or parliamentarians you are responsible for the public service it gives you an insight as to what’s happening.

“I draw the line there simply because of this: I think having a second job that’s in a private organisation public driven changes your first job.”

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