A dose of sense from the voice of parliamentary reason Throughout the expenses scandal and the lobbying scandal and all the other storms which have buffeted Parliament, Dr Tony Wright is the one MP who has consistently provided a measured, sane and sensible reaction to events. As Chair of the influential Public Administration Committee he has risen above party and partisan politics to offer a sometimes lone voice of reason. His new book considers the wider implications of the various political ructions and the public reaction to them, and argues that if we want to defend politics, then we also have to defend politicians: the class of people is intrinsic to the activity. Somebody has to do the messy business of accommodating conflicting demands and interests, choosing between competing options, negotiating unwelcome trade-offs, and taking responsibility for decisions that often represent the least worst course of action. That somebody is politicians. They give voice to our hopes, but they also, inevitably, feed our disappointments, even if their name is Obama. From one of our most erudite, intellectually rigorous yet sensible politicians, Doing Politics is just the book the nation needs.
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Tony Wright is retiring as Labour MP for Cannock Chase at the 2010 general election. He is Chairman of the Committee on Reform of the House of Commons and Chairman of the Public Administration Committee. His earlier books include the acclaimed Politics: A short introduction.
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