The British Constitution

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OUP Oxford, Sep 24, 2009 - Law - 437 pages
1 Review
In the latter part of the nineteenth century Walter Bagehot wrote a classic account of the British constitution as it had developed during Queen Victoria's reign. He argued that the late Victorian constitution was not at all what people thought it was. Anthony King argues that the same is true at the beginning of this century. Most people are aware that a series of major constitutional changes has taken place, but few recognize that their cumulative effect has been to changeentirely the nature of Britain's constitutional structure. The old constitution has gone. The author insists that the new constitution is a mess, but one that we should probably try to make the best of. The British Constitution is neither a reference book nor a textbook. Like Bagehot's classic, it iswritten with wit and mordant humour - by someone who is a journalist and political commentator as well as a distinguished academic. The author maintains that, although the new British constitution is a mess, there is no going back now. 'As always', he says, 'nostalgia is a good companion but a bad guide.' Highly charged issues that remain to be settled concern the relations between Scotland and England and the future of the House of Lords. A reformed House of Lords, the author fears, could windup comprising 'a miscellaneous assemblage of party hacks, political careerists, clapped-out retired or defeated MPs, has-beens, never-were's and never-could-possibly-be's'. The book is a Bagehot for the twenty-first century - the product of a lifetime's reflection on British politics and essentialreading for anyone interested in how the British system has changed and how it is likely to change in future.

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Review: The British Constitution

User Review  - Dmitriy - Goodreads

I have read it for my research work on British Parliament and this book really helped me out. Especially I liked the part about House of Lords. Read full review

About the author (2009)


Anthony King has been Professor of Government at the University of Essex since 1969 and has also taught at Princeton and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is a member of the Academia Europaea, a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an honorary life fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Professor King writes regularly for the Daily Telegraph and broadcasts frequently on politics and elections for the BBC.

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