« | Home | »

The Case for More MPs

Tags:

The late Bernard Weatherill told me that between 1964, when he entered the House of Commons, and the late 1980s, his constituency duties increased twentyfold. It’s one of the reasons backbenchers spend less time arguing and being difficult in the chamber than they once did. When Tony Blair had a large majority he put Labour members on a rota for extra constituency duties. Reducing the number of MPs will only make the situation worse: David Cameron’s Commons-slighting venture cringes to populist prejudice. Yet as the recent Murdoch-grilling showed, a committee of backbench MPs can still make creditable difficulties. To discourage them, Louise Mensch has already been slashed at by the red-tops; perhaps Tom Watson and Chris Bryant will be redistributed. Nothing about recent governments suggests that the problem has been rank and file members (of any party), but they make an easy scapegoat.

Comments on “The Case for More MPs”

  1. philodemus says:

    This appears to be an argument for more staff, rather than more MPs. Compare the US House of Representatives, which though evidently dysfunctional is reasonably responsive on constituency issues.

Comment on this post

Log in or register to post a comment.


  • Recent Posts

    RSS – posts

  • Contributors

  • Recent Comments

    • Alex K. on At the Gogol Centre: "Bo-beh-o-bi, sang the lips" and the following lines are metrically convenient but grammatically problematic translations. Khlebnikov is using a refle...
    • Simon Wood on At the Gogol Centre: I am baffled by politics now, when it used to be like table football with a blue team and a red team. This is, indeed, like being a small child, not q...
    • Gardiner Linda on At the Gogol Centre: A couple of years ago I was in Rijeka, where the Zagreb Experimental Theatre was performing Hamlet (in Croatian). Although I have perhaps ten words of...
    • Higgs Boatswain on Cold War Ghosts: Although the paranoid fear of the Russian East is undoubtedly a deep-seated nightmare in the psyche of the liberal West, it is not quite so cliched as...
    • Stu Bry on Trump and the Doomsday Machine: Surely the death knell for MAD was the US withdrawal from the ABM treaty in 2002? Reagan had Alzheimers and was under the influence of Teller. Bush...

    RSS – comments

  • Contact

  • Blog Archive

Advertisement Advertisement