Welcome to the 2011 edition of the Parliamentary Yearbook.
We now have a new perspective on our parliamentary democracy. A coalition government has placed new pressures on our predominantly two-party system. For the first time in more than 60 years compromise has shaped many policies and minor party rifts have been seized upon by the media.
Recession, the economy and cutbacks have predominated in shaping much of government policy, and our perception of the activity in Westminster has in many ways been coloured by this. However, now in the year of Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the London Olympics there is much to celebrate in this land of ours.
Within Westminster, whatever the background, the domestic, social and business affairs of the nation — the core business of Parliament — carries on; debates still take place about the NHS, education, social services, the environment, international affairs, public- and private-sector business and the many other aspects involved in managing the affairs of the UK. It is these, the issues involved in the government of the nation, which are covered by the features in the Parliamentary Yearbook. My appreciation goes out to all the contributors and everyone who has been involved in the book’s production.
I am sure that you, the reader, will find much of interest within the pages of the book. I am, however, always pleased to receive feedback about the content, and I should be delighted to hear from any of our readers with any comments or suggestions for improvements.
Parliamentary Yearbook Information Office