Why We Get the Wrong Politicians
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Why We Get the Wrong Politicians

4.11 (325 ratings by Goodreads)
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Winner at the 2018 Parliamentary Book Awards
Shortlisted for the 2018 Waterstones Book of the Year
Longlisted for the Orwell Prize, 2019
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Daily Telegraph's Best Books of the Year, 2018
Guardian's Best Books of the Year, 2018
Evening Standard's Best Books of the Year, 2018
Daily Mail's Best Books of the Year, 2018
BBC's Biggest Books, 2018
Prospect's Best Books of the Year, 2018

Politicians are consistently voted the least trusted professional group by the UK public. They've recently become embroiled in scandals concerning sexual harassment and expenses. Every year, they introduce new legislation that doesn't do what it sets out to achieve - often with terrible financial and human costs. But, with some notable exceptions, they are decent, hard-working people, doing a hugely difficult and demanding job.

In this searching examination of our political class, award-winning journalist Isabel Hardman tries to square this circle. She lifts the lid on the strange world of Westminster and asks why we end up with representatives with whom we are so unhappy. Filled with forensic analysis and revealing reportage, this landmark and accessible book is a must read for anyone who wants to see a future with better government.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 336 pages
  • 153 x 234 x 23mm | 573g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main
  • Plate section TBC
  • 1782399739
  • 9781782399735
  • 110,171

Review quote

Extremely well-written. * Sorted * Excellent. * Independent * Eye-opening. * Sunday Telegraph * A title no one could disagree with. Political journalist Hardman analyses why we end up with representatives we think are useless and suggests how we might do things differently. * Daily Mail * A brilliantly lucid explanation of the systemic problems in our electoral system that make policy-making and government such a mess. -- Nick Curtis * Evening Standard * Both original and practical, a press gallery eye view on why so many good people either don't make it into parliament or don't manage to achieve what they thought they would once there. Hardman writes well * Guardian, Best Books of 2018 * Riveting... Here's hoping lots of MPs get it in their Christmas stocking. * Daily Telegraph * This highly readable book serves as a reminder that the principal purpose of an MP is to be a legislator, yet poorly thought through laws are often passed. -- Jacob Rees-Mogg, MP for North East Somerset With humour and humanity, Isabel Hardman lifts the lid on the Houses of Parliament and shows with compelling authority how the structure and culture of our political system so often delivers the worst kind of results. This book has the power to fundamentally change how we do things in this country. * Emily Maitlis - Presenter, Newsnight * This thoroughly readable and well-researched book explains why parliamentary powers won't ever be used properly until parties change how they choose their candidates. -- Lord Peter Mandelson The untold, candid account of our MPs. Isabel Hardman has been able to pierce our protective armour because we trust and respect her. And she's analysed what she found with a fierce intellect. * Harriet Harman MP * Excellent... Hardman has carefully explained how to breathe new life into the existing system. -- Alex Dean * Prospect * As someone who has spent years writing about Westminster, Hardman knows better than most what is going wrong there... A must-read for anyone who wants a better Parliament. Crammed with insight and gossip, it will hopefully provoke the Westminster bubble to clean itself up. -- Asa Bennet * Daily Telegraph * A must-read for anyone who wants to change the way they think about politicians and how they vote. * Evening Standard * A fast-paced, intelligent dissection of modern politics, packed full of juicy anecdotes and insider knowledge. What Isabel Hardman doesn't know about parliament isn't worth knowing. * Helen Lewis - Deputy Editor, New Statesman * A vital and compelling read for anyone interested in the way our politics does or doesn't work -- Jess Phillips * New Statesman * Hardman's diagnosis of the malaise in the body politic is compelling and entertaining * Robert Peston - Political Editor, ITV News * An entertaining read that addresses hard questions... invaluable for those who think they know what's wrong with Westminster but have no idea how to put it right. * John Humphrys - Presenter, Today Programme * It's easy to moan that Westminster doesn't work and a lot harder to explain why. To understand, this is the book you need to read. * Laura Kuenssberg - Political Editor, BBC News * Hardman's well-written, incisive book provides a good compass with which to navigate this changing landscape * The Times * A really good book... Well-structured and well-written. * Observer *
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About Isabel Hardman

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. She lives in London.

She frequently appears on television and radio, including Have I Got News For You, The News Quiz, Andrew Marr, Sunday Politics, Robert Peston, and more.
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Rating details

325 ratings
4.11 out of 5 stars
5 33% (107)
4 47% (154)
3 18% (58)
2 2% (6)
1 0% (0)
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