An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown





A severe though not unfriendly critic of our institutions said that the cure for admiring the House of Lords was to go and look at it.


Walter Bagehot (1826-1977, British economist, critic)


Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests; which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates; but parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole; where, not local purposes, not local prejudices ought to guide, but the general good, resulting from the general reason of the whole. You choose a member indeed; but when you have chosen him, he is not a member of Bristol, but he is a member of parliament.


Edmund Burke (1729-1797, British political writer, statesman)


You see how this House of Commons has begun to verify all the ill prophecies that were made of it -- low, vulgar, meddling with everything, assuming universal competency, and flattering every base passion -- and sneering at everything noble refined and truly national. The direct tyranny will come on by and by, after it shall have gratified the multitude with the spoil and ruin of the old institutions of the land.


Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834, British poet, critic, philosopher)


You have sat too long for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!


Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658, British Parliamentarian General)


The House of Commons starts its proceedings with a prayer. The chaplain looks at the assembled members with their varied intelligence and then prays for the country.


Lord Denning


You behold a range of exhausted volcanoes. Not a flame flickers on a single pallid crest.


Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881, British statesman, Prime Minister)


Would it be possible to stand still on one spot more majestically -- while simulating a triumphant march forward -- than it is done by the two English Houses of Parliament?


Alexander Herzen (1812-1870, Russian journalist, political thinker)


A Parliament is that to the Commonwealth which the soul is to the body. It behooves us therefore to keep the facility of that soul from distemper.


John Pym


I would walk from here to Drogheda and back to see the man who is blockhead enough to expect anything except injustice from an English Parliament.


Daniel O'Connell (1775-1847, Irish national leader)


The English think they are free. They are free only during the election of members of parliament.


Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778, Swiss political philosopher, educationist, essayist)


Parliament must not be told a direct untruth, but it's quite possible to allow them to mislead themselves.


Norman Tebbit (1931-, British statesman)


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