About Rotten Borough
In ten years working in Westminster, including at the very heart of government during some of its most extraordinary times, and as an official, adviser to a Cabinet Minister, as a lobbyist, and think tanker, I have seen how Westminster government works (or doesn’t) in its many guises and how outsiders influence it (or try).
What is obvious, is so few people know how government really works, especially those who try to change it and even those people in it, not least some of the Ministers that pretend to be in charge of it (spoiler alert, the vast majority are not). This website will try to shed some light on the reality of Westminster and Whitehall.
Why does government so often seem to be skewed towards special interests, why is the tax system so punishing of low and middle income earners but not business and the wealthy, why doesn’t government just work better?
This is how Westminster (really) works…
I’ll also throw in other thoughts and writings, from a whacky satirical epic rhyme, to the occasional blog about politics, current events, big ideas and issues, and hopefully you might want to contribute too.
PS. A Rotten Borough, for those unfamiliar, was a parliamentary borough or constituency in England/ Great Britain/ United Kingdom, which had such a small electorate that it could be used by a rich patron to gain unrepresentative influence in the House of Commons. For instance in 1831, the parliamentary seat of Old Sarum near Salisbury, had 3 houses and 7 voters, when Manchester, the fastest growing town/city in England at the time, did not have its own MP. This unbalance was addressed in the "Great Reform Act" of 1832. Of course, today the borough of Westminster is rotten for undue influence from rich patrons for other reasons...