Monday, September 9, 2019

Books to help make sense of parliament

Isabel Hardman is a journalist and broadcaster. She is Assistant Editor of The Spectator and presents Week in Westminster on BBC Radio 4. In 2015, she was named "Journalist of the Year" at the Political Studies Association's annual awards.

Hardman is the author of Why We Get the Wrong Politicians.

At the Guardian she tagged six of the best titles that explain what is happening in UK politics, including:
People very rarely lie in Westminster. This might sound absurd, but it’s true. What they do is use their words so carefully that only a linguist experienced in politicalese can translate what they actually mean. If a government says it “isn’t considering” proroguing parliament – as it did recently, before doing just that – this doesn’t necessarily mean that it isn’t going to prorogue parliament. The key is the verb: advisers will argue it doesn’t cover a decision that has already been taken. The best lexicon is the very entertaining Would They Lie to You? by Robert Hutton, which will help you understand what politicians are actually saying, while also making you profoundly dispirited about the way politics is conducted. See also Peter Oborne’s The Rise of Political Lying and The Triumph of the Political Class.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue