A parliament to be proud of
in Held in contempt
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The conclusion opens by arguing that MPs ought to be more concerned than they are about the spiral of declining public trust and government contempt into which the House of Commons has fallen. It observes that there have been significant efforts in recent years to communicate the work of MPs but argues that the public is more likely to judge parliament by the behaviour of MPs than by the outputs of parliamentary processes.

MPs should make the House of Commons an exemplar of best practice rather than an exception to the rules. The long history of the House of Commons is no guarantor of modern value and the preferences of current MPs should not be allowed to prejudice the future of the institution by preventing reform. MPs should address the inappropriate degree of control over the procedures and processes of the House of Commons which is exercised by whichever party is in government.

The chapter concludes that at present there is neither the will among MPs nor the incentive for the government to undertake the reforms that are needed to reverse the vicious cycle of decline. Ironically, perhaps it is only if the unmodernised palace finally goes up in flames and parliamentarians find themselves forced out of Westminster without notice that they will be forced to reflect on many previously unthinkable questions about the way our politics operates.

Held in contempt

What’s wrong with the House of Commons?


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