Chris Huhne: on loyalty

Chris Huhne has a column in today’s Guardian on loyalty.  It’s easy to mock, for all the obvious reasons, and plenty of people are doing so.

There are some errors of fact (for example, we don’t understand the claim that the 1992 Parliament was a record holder – the better comparison would be with the Blair and Brown years, as this graph shows) and a few places where we might quibble over his interpretation.

Yet in its fundamental analysis, it’s broadly right – and we don’t just say that because in paragraph 2 he cites the definitive sources on this subject.  Backbench dissent since 2010 has been at record levels, and most of the trouble has come from the Conservatives and not from the Lib Dems.  (By the end of the second session, the eight most rebellious MPs were all Conservatives).  He’s also right – contra most of the posh boys narrative – to point out that the parliamentary party is becoming less, not more, socially elitist.