"Have you got 'How to be an MP' by Paul Flynn?"

 

It is, the Speaker of the House of Commons said this morning, "a much-thumbed tome in the Bercow household".

The next edition How to be an MP by Labour MP Paul Flynn will doubtless include that quote on the front cover. Not only is it a favourite of John (and quite possibly Sally) Bercow, it was also the most borrowed book in the House of Commons library last year.

It's understandable that MPs should seek guidance on how to do their job from what the author describes as "a self-improving tract", although he's understood to feel a little surprised at the reluctance of well-paid colleagues to dip into their pockets for a £12.99 book. Signed copies are available in the parliamentary bookshop.

Paul Flynn isn't the only Welsh MP in the top 10 authors. Outside In, the memoirs of former Welsh Secretary Peter Hain saw his memoirs sneak in at number 9.

What is more surprising, perhaps, is how few books are borrowed from the Commons library (although it is more of a reference than a lending library).

Only 11 people borrowed Mr Hain's book (also 12.99 in paperback) and only 19 borrowed Mr Flynn's volume. Neither appears likely to get rich on the public lending right income or to rival E L James in the demand stakes.

I can think of several local authorities whose response to such low borrowing figures would be to either close the library or hand it over to volunteers.

Fortunately the research prowess of the Commons library is likely to spare it that fate.

With MPs about to enjoy a half-term break, they have a week to catch up on their reading. Parliament is back at work - and so am I - on February 25.

 
David Cornock Article written by David Cornock David Cornock Parliamentary correspondent, Wales

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  • Comment number 26.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 25.

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  • Comment number 24.

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  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 23.

    #20, only you had read my comment alf, it went ...

    "there hasn't been an appetite for nationalism in Wales for hundreds of years ..."

    ... and I stand by my words.

    The last real nationalist cause was probably the uprising of Dafydd ap Gruffydd last prince of Wales, executed 3 Oct 1283 by Edward I of England.

    The revolt of Glyndŵr was more of a land grab not a nationalist uprising.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 22.

    19.John Tyler
    Don't know your history Tyler but I suppose if you've been brought up as an Imperialist then how would know any difference. Don't believe everything the London Government put in the History lessons

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 21.

    #20 'At least they are prepared to change their ideas.'
    But: are they, Alf ??
    The eternal problem for a political party: do you stay with the activists, the founders, the true believers ?
    Or do you compromise to pick up more votes and power ??
    Maybe they should keep their heads down and see how the Great Scottish Dream turns out.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 20.

    Well at least they are brave and honest enough to realise they need to change, to something modern and relevant regardng the people of Wales. All of them. No matter what language they may speak. At least they are prepared to change their ideas. They may lose some though they could gain a lot more supporters. There has always been Nationalism John. British and International Nationalism with Labour.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 19.

    ... there hasn't been an appetite for nationalism in Wales for hundreds of years Boxer, Plaid are whistling in the wind for support that doesn't exist, a few with chips on their shoulders might dip their toes and join the cosy talk shop, but nothing much else, thank goodness ...

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 18.

    #17 No problems, Alf. Probably I could have been clearer.
    Interesting news from PC. A move to Welsh National Party would probably pick up votes: which party could the real Nats go to ?
    There are still tears ahead, though, as they have to decide if Independence [or at least DevoMax] is more important than Welsh-speaking. Multicultural prosperity vs Linguistic survival in isolation.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 17.

    My apologies Boxer.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 16.

    What I was trying to say Alf, and I was not expressing any personal opinion on the actual issues, is that a professional politician expressed himself so badly that the only logical conclusion from his two statements is that he believes the right to adopt of same-sex couples trumps the right of protection of children.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 15.

    Perhaps Boxer he is confused!. Not quite sure what you are trying to say either Boxer. Child abuse more often comes from within 'heterosexual' families There are millions of opposite sex partners who can not biologically procreate children as well Do they come under the same criteria, of not providing warm and safe environments.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 14.

    Welsh Secretary David Jones says gay couples "clearly" cannot provide a "warm and safe environment" to raise children. Yet David Jones said he did not believe same-sex couples should be prevented from adopting children.
    Thus a Conservative minister believes that same-sex rights are more important than child protection.
    Or, possibly, he is very confused.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 13.

    I do believe they are panicking now and to cover their own backs they are all trying to pass the buck. from Governments,Police, FSA and most of all the Supermarkets because they are the ones who should be policing their own products. They are more concerned about their own profit margins and demanding the cheapest deal. At any cost.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 12.

    Alf, it was not intended as that, I agree with the substance of your post there as been poor leadership here from all Govts, EU, UK and WG in a system that was supposed to protect consumers, but preyed upon by greedy companies prepared to make a fast buck of illegal profit from unsuspecting consumers.

    I lived on continent for many years and horsemeat has not bothered me.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 11.

    Indy my apologies you are right. But it doesn't take away from the fact it is all in chaos UK wide. But thank you for correcting me.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 10.

    Alf
    Local food inspections are the responsibility of the LA here in Wales governed by the WG, they trumpeted putting scores on doors of dodgy cafe's but don't fund the inspections of meat processors.

    In 1999, the food safety and standards powers were devolved to the National Assembly for Wales. The FSA is accountable to both the National Assembly and, via Health Ministers, to Parliament.

  • rate this
    -3

    Comment number 9.

    Indy. The FSA is the responsibility of the UK Government. The whole system is in chaos. They issue all these rules and regulations and they haven't got a clue how to Police the system. Look to who causes the chaos in the first place. Then to the Supermarkets who want cheap meat for their profits and mark their produce up wrong illegally.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21430330

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 8.

    I hear they are checking fish fingers now for seahorses.

    The WG are in charge of LA's in Wales it is upto them to fund the LA's to check abbatoirs, something they have failed to do.

    Maybe there is a book in HOC library on how to run a government, send it to Carwyn so he can read it over the St Davids lunch he will be hosting in Brussels with Council leaders from Wales in the coming weeks

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 7.

    Cont..in the form of raiding Companies with the Media in tow and calling them Processing Plants, when they are clearly not. Is it to cover up Government and FSA inefficiency along with pushing it out of our minds that the supermarkets were selling produce illegally by it being sold as one thing and it was something else entirely. who will actually take the blame for this fiasco I wonder.

 

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