1974. The UK faces economic crisis and a hung parliament. In a culture hostile to cooperation, it’s a period when votes are won or lost by one, when there are fist fights in the bars and when sick MPs are carried through the lobby to register their vote.
Let those on the continent cooperate and hug and kiss each other on the ruddy cheek. Here in Britain, one party governs and we get things done.
It’s a time when a staggering number of politicians die, and the building creaks under idiosyncrasies and arcane traditions.
A minority government? No one with any sense or gumption gives you more than a matter of weeks. You’re gonna fall, and fast, and hard. So start finding things to land on. Now.
Set in the engine rooms of Westminster, James Graham’s This House strips politics down to the practical realities of those behind the scenes: the whips who roll up their sleeves and on occasion bend the rules to shepherd and coerce a diverse chorus of MPs within the Mother of all Parliaments.
This country is being kept alive on aspirin when what it needs is electric bloody shock therapy.