Louise Mensch won't be last to quit the drudgery of Parliament
Opinion Digest: frustrated MPs, our national dirge and time for Nick Clegg to go
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WESTMINSTER IS A BORE FOR DYNAMIC MPS
RACHEL SYLVESTER ON LOUISE MENSCH'S DEPARTURE
The decision by Louise Mensch to quit Parliament after just two years is indicative of a growing sense of disillusionment among the 2010 intake of Tory MPs, says Rachel Sylvester in The Times. "A formidable group of newcomers was brought to the House of Commons by the expenses scandal... Having been successful in previous careers, many of them thought they were on the fast track to promotion in the exciting world of politics but are now starting to lose patience with the drudgery of life at Westminster." Sylvester quotes an unnamed minister saying these "incredibly able people" did not go into politics to sit down, shut up and vote as they're told. "All the parties urgently need to work out better ways of using the talent on their back benches and allowing a greater degree of individuality and creativity among their MPs," says Sylvester.
CHANGE OUR NATIONAL DIRGE
DOMINIC LAWSON ON A NEW ANTHEM
Team GB's impressive Olympic gold medal haul - and subsequent award ceremonirs - has led The Independent's Dominic Lawson to conclude that the British national anthem is "uninspiring" and does not improve with repetition. A YouGov poll shows that an overwhelming number of Brits don't like our national anthem, describing it as 'dull', 'depressing', 'dour', 'downbeat' and (most popular) 'dirge'. Research this year by English and German musicologists found that, based on "singability", God Save the Queen rates below Wales's Land of My Fathers. "There is a marvellous alternative national anthem, and with a musical setting by one of Britain's greatest composers, Gustav Holst: I Vow To Thee, My Country." If this were to replace the current national anthem, "then at least the Queen, rather than standing in mute acknowledgement, could join in with the rest of us".
NICK CLEGG HAS FAILED AND MUST GO
TOM CLARK ON AN INEXPERIENCED LEADER
Nick Clegg's self-confessed inability to deliver reform of the House of Lords marks the moment when the deputy prime minister must admit to himself that he has failed to make a progressive imprint on Britain, says Tom Clark in The Guardian. Despite his falling poll ratings, "if Clegg had managed to complete the democratisation of parliament, he might just have redeemed his place" in the Lib Dems' history books. But this is just his latest failure. "He has mismanaged this great political project, just as he previously blundered over both student fees and NHS reforms, in both cases turning tricky political situations for his party into outright disaster." Clegg was only elected to the Commons in 2005 and it is now clear that he was too inexperienced for the job of Lib Dem leader. "If a Liberal Democrat party that is now haemorrhaging members wants to reclaim the p-word, it needs to consider change at the top."