Hardly a minute passes without somebody, somewhere, referring to Westminster as the mother of Parliaments. But John Bright coined the phrase to describe England, not Westminster, and it is necessary to make the correction, because it has a more than pedantic significance. The country came first — and should always come first. Our Parliament did not create itself, and in the modern democratic age the membership of at least one House is determined by the people, to whom Parliament as a whole is ultimately responsible. Though it is right that our parliamentarians should exercise their own judgements and should not, when elected, behave as delegates, Parliament nevertheless has to satisfy the people that it is as well constituted, and working as well, as possible. It will not do for MPs and peers to be collectively satisfied with themselves.
KeywordsPrime Minister Select Committee Late Sitting Criminal Appeal Party Strength
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