Also in today's Times, Danny Finkelstein has written a piece regarding Clare Short's call for a hung parliament. In it he highlights the paradox of political behaviour these days arguing that:
"Voters and the media ask parties for total unity and want MPs to be completely authentic. Politicians are simultaneously expected to say exactly the same thing as every other member of their party and to be true to themselves. This is obviously impossible.... Bridging the unbridgeable contradiction between unity and authenticity has turned politics into an elaborate game for insiders."
Personally I think that this is a very good point, excellently made, and I'm not just saying that because he gave me a complimentary quote for my banner. However, the implications of addressing the problem seem to me to be far more significant.
If politicians are only able to genuinely "re-connect" with the electorate by having the freedom to say what they believe rather than falsely maintaining an air of unity, does that not mean the abolishment of the whip as a concept to some extent? Does it not also imply a rethink, perhaps a regressive rethink, of the very role of political parties in Britain today?
Daniel Finkelstein has certainly highlighted the problem, is the solution a return to a Parliament of individuals rather than party political robots?