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Parliament and industry : Bridging the gap

Judge, David (1992) Parliament and industry : Bridging the gap. Parliamentary Affairs, 45 (1). pp. 51-65.

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Abstract

'THE Commons is very low on industrial experience . . . the lack of industrial experience lessens the understanding of what it takes to get the workforce to produce and how to coordinate such an exercise'.1 'Parliament is a regrettable exercise in how to help industry. It cannot function adequately unless it has a greater knowledge of industry'.2 These quotations reflect the widespread impression that there are relatively few Members of the British House of Commons with practical experience of industry. But, rarely is it stated what would constitute an adequate representation of industry in the House. Calls for a 'better balance of occupational experience amongst Members',3 however, invariably entail notions of microcosmic representation—of a proportionate representation in the Commons of the employment profile of the electorate.