Westminster Bubble

Westminster Bubble

The Westminster Bubble is a term used to describe United Kingdom Members of Parliament, Peers, lobbyists, researchers, secretaries, civil servants, lobby correspondents and leader writers for newspapers who appear to live their life isolated from life outside Parliament and is so named because Parliament is located in Westminster, London. As of 2004 the alternative term Westminster village had gained much popularity. Equivalent terms apply in the USA of Washington Bubble, or more often Inside the Beltway.

More recently, in Scotland, there has been a development of a "Holyrood bubble", as the Scottish Parliament is in the Holyrood district of Edinburgh.

Although the term has been used for many years, recent examples of its use include Peter Hain speaking in the House on 29 January 2004:

"All broadcasters, the whole coverage of politics, the Westminster bubble that we as politicians of the Government and Opposition occupy together with the Westminster lobby; together we are all conducting politics in a way that is turning off voters, listeners, readers and watchers by the million."

In July the previous year he had described it in a newspaper article as:

"That politically incestuous world occupied by politicians, government and opposition, together with the media. Politicians, news broadcasters and journalists now form a ‘political class’ which is in a frenzied world of its own, divorced from the people, and which is turning off viewers, listeners and readers from politics by the million.".

In November 2003 Conservative Party Leader Michael Howard indicated on the day of his appointment that he wished to be a 'Leader outside the Westminster Bubble'.

External links

* [http://argument.independent.co.uk/commentators/story.jsp?story=427802 Full July 2003 Peter Hain article]
* [http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1410999,00.html Straight talking on Westminster village] , The Times, December 21, 2004

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