James Forsyth

Goodman: Westminster is the author of its decline

Goodman: Westminster is the author of its decline
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If all shadow ministers were as in command of their brief and had thought as much about what they would do in government as Paul Goodman had, I’d feel a lot more confident about how well the next Conservative government would perform. So, I was shocked—and disappointed—when Paul telephoned me a few months back to say that he was standing down as an MP.  

Paul is giving up a certain ministerial job and the chance to push through policies that he has thought long and hard about. He’s not doing this because he’s been ensnared in scandal or revealed as a ‘trougher’ or anything like that. But rather because, as he writes in the Mail today, he is thoroughly disillusioned about the direction Parliament is heading in.

Paul’s fear is that “the Commons is set to become a chamber of professional politicians, dependent on the taxpayer, and therefore remote from the millions of Britons who aren't - especially the hard-pressed and overtaxed middle classes.” As Paul says, “the Commons has connived in its own destruction”. It has handed over powers to Europe, the devolved assemblies, quangos and the courts."

I’d urge all Coffee Housers to read Paul’s essay in full. Things have reached a sorry state, when a man as honourable and as committed to the public interest as Paul Goodman does not want the letters MP after his name.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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