Nick Clegg told Radio 5 Live this morning that
“Today we’re announcing we’re going to remove the law that means if you’re a politician or an MP and you suffer from a mental health problem for more than six months you are disqualified from standing for public office… That’s an old fashioned approach to mental health that is completely out of step with what we now know.”
Clegg wants to “end the stigma attached to mental illness”, he also wants to shift away from medication to spending £400 million on “talking therapies”. All well and good. Guido may be going out on a limb here, but lunatics getting their “talking therapy” in the chamber of the House of Commons seems like a bad idea. MPs are paid by the taxpayers to represent us and exercise their judgement, voting as our representatives. If they are crazy they can’t do that effectively.
That is the reason we have legislation barring the insane from being MPs. It is a good reason. It isn’t outdated and old-fashioned to think that the certifiably insane should not be deciding legislation of national importance. If this passes they will have to change the old workplace sign you still see in some places:
“You don’t have to be crazy to work here… but it won’t matter if you are…”