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In defense of politicians

MPs are no worse than they’ve ever been

By Peter Riddell   April 2014

Derided, despised, its inhabitants dismissed as out of touch and self-seeking, what is to be done about parliament? Condemnation is easy but misleading. There is a powerful counter-argument: the current generation of MPs have never worked harder for their constituents, are more rebellious and their scrutiny of the executive is increasingly effective, or, at least, irritating to Whitehall.

Invariably missing from this debate is any sense of historical perspective, which Chris Bryant supplies in the first volume of his demythologising history of parliament, Parliament, The Biography: Ancestral Voices. Bryant, a former vicar, successful biographer and Labour frontbencher, engagingly takes on…

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