The British Constitution is accepted, in England at least, as the symbol for soundness and reliability: and yet its unwritten mysteries and its practical resilience are the despair of theorists. It is as unexpected as a person, and seems to be defined only by the fact that it lives and works. This 1966 book, then, might be described as a biography by one who has a first-hand knowledge of his subject. It offers ordinary British citizens a reasonable and detached introduction to the system in which they play so large a part; at the same time it provides, for friends and critics overseas, a simple and reliable account of its growth and functioning.
Table of ContentsPreface; Part I. Government by the People: 1. We, the people; 2. The people's choice; Part II. Government by Party: 1. The polity of parties; 2. A short history of the parties; 3. The character of the parties; 4. The party machines; 5. The two-party system; Part III. The House of Commons: 1. Political ambition and its rewards; 2. The House and the government; 3. The opposition; part IV. The House of Lords: 1. A Conservative bulwark; 2. The need for a second chamber; Part V: The Monarchy; Part VI. Administration: 1. Administrative bodies; 2. The process of administration; 3. Bureaucracy; Part VII. Cabinet Government: 1. Ministerial responsibility; 2. The Cabinet; 3. The Prime Minister; 4. Co-ordination; 5. Instruments of co-ordination; Part VIII. British Democracy: 1. Government and opinion; 2. Democracy and liberty; 3. Is it a democracy?; Index.