Last week's piece by Andrew Roberts on the lack of oratory in Parliament – about which we commented, has brought a response from Sir Nicholas Winterton MP. He writes:
… The House of Commons is certainly less relevant and exciting, more supine, staid and wooden than in the past.That, unfortunately, is the sad truth of it. As long as we put up with these idiots, they will continue to sell us out.
There are indeed few Parliamentary orators. However, the House of Commons has permitted this erosion of its authority, being more interested in family-friendly hours than in its important and unique role of effectively holding the Government to account and properly scrutinising legislation and policy. That almost 70 percent of our legislation comes from the EU also reduced the authority and relevance of Parliament.
Political parties have, in addition, contributed to the emasculation of the House through the candidate selection process in seeking only safe, amenable and malleable candidates who will do the Party's bidding on all occasions and frequently without question, whatever their own views might be.
They must all be "on message". Individuals with a mind of their own, strong views, a real experience of life and with independent leaning are not welcome. Party officials and whips describe them as the "awkward squad", but thank goodness there are still a few who have slipped through the net and who enliven the House from time to time.
It is not surprising that turnout at elections is falling, but only the electorate can reverse this decline in the role of Parliament.
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