March 05, 2005

The Truth About Westminster: "Democracy in Britain is in a dangerous state. Faith in politicians has sunk to an all-time low. But is the public image fair? Cash for questions, lobbying, political favours, patronage, party funding, whipping, indiscretions, secrecy, half-truths...What lies behind these issues?
'In a dictatorship I would have been bumped off - I knew too much. Instead I was sacked.' - Ex-Minister
'Some people can be bought off with an MBE. Others with a knighthood.' - Former Party Agent
'The life of MPs is liable to place them in the path of great sexual temptation.' - Lord Healey
'I sometimes wonder if we can afford the luxury of adversarial politics.' - Lord Weatherill
'We have reached the stage when every man and woman in this House is an object of suspicion.' - Sir Edward Heath
'We cannot legislate for integrity.' - Betty Boothrod
'We must be active in the political arena.' - Clive Calver

Patrick Dixon takes us behind the headlines to give a measured view, based on a series of revealing interviews backed by detailed research. He finds man MPs and Peers struggling with great pressures, conflicts and moral dilemmas. He concludes that the system itself is corrupting, and he proposes comprehensive reforms. He believes men and women with integrity have a vital role to play. "