Wednesday, September 02, 2009

A quick riposte

Over at Lords of the Blog, Lord Norton takes Dan Hannan to task over the supposed glory days of independent MPs, and quotes an old saw. [Emphasis mine.]
There was a relatively short period in the 19th century, before the advent of mass-membership political parties, in which party voting was weak. The 1867 Reform Act extended the electorate to such an extent that mass-membership parties became necessary. As Richard Crossman put it, party organisation replaced organised corruption.

Indeed, Lord Norton. Of course, we have progressed substantially since that time: we no longer have mere organised corruption or even party organisation.

No: now we have organised party corruption.


Anonymous said...

Crossman was a thief and a liar:

"In 1957, Crossman joined Aneurin Bevan and Morgan Phillips in a controversial lawsuit for libel against The Spectator magazine, which had described the men as drinking heavily during a socialist conference in Italy. ... Having sworn that the charges were untrue, the three collected damages from the magazine. Many years later, Crossman's posthumously published diaries confirmed the truth of The Spectator 's charges."--Wikipedia.

Anonymous said...

I have to say I've been reading you for about 2 years and as an American the whole "List" thing still baffles me. It seems to me to be a starting point for disassociating the citizen's from the process. Why wouldn't MP's feel more answerable
to party leaders than to constituents. Or not feel they have to answer to the people at all. It's the party that put them there and the party that keeps them there.

James Higham said...

Good - you've saved us the bother.

Vindico said...

Very drole

The very model of a modern scientific man

Your humble Devil was thoroughly amused by Neil Ferguson's fall from grace, and is very pleased to have found the time to outline Fergus...