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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > Aug-18 > Parliamentary turmoil

Parliamentary turmoil

Extracts from memoirs and diaries, chosen by Ian Irvine
President Nasser of Egypt is served the head of Anthony Eden on a plate. The Suez crisis caused fury in parliament

1831 Thomas Babington Macaulay, the historian and Whig MP, described the Commons vote on 30th March at 3am on the Great Reform Bill to clean up and extend the voting system: “Such a scene as the division of last Tuesday I never saw, and never expect to see again. If I should live 50 years the impression of it will be as fresh and sharp in my mind as if it had just taken place. It was like seeing Caesar stabbed in the Senate House, or seeing Oliver [Cromwell] taking the mace from the table…The crowd overflowed the House in every part. When the strangers were cleared out and the doors were locked we had 608 members present, more than 55 than were ever in a division before. The Ayes and Noes were like two volleys of cannon.

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In Prospect’s August issue: Zoe Williams argues that the first thing we need to do if we are to remain in the EU is to tackle the reasons why so many wanted out—namely pay and conditions at home and the impact of unfettered capitalism. Prospect’s Alex Dean and Tom Clark interviewed former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg who says the liberal centre should keep the faith—there is another way to work closely with Europe, but the immigration question is central to finding that solution. Meanwhile, a group of writers including Wolfgang Münchau, Shashank Joshi and Owen Hatherley explain some of the pitfalls, prizes and things you hadn’t thought about when it comes to the UK’s relationship with the EU. Elsewhere in the issue: Former UK diplomat Tom Fletcher profiles the out-going UN human rights chief who is causing a stir by saying the things nobody else would dare. Steve Bloomfield asks what happened to Seymour Hersh—how did the legendary journalist come to echo the thoughts and ideas of Bashar al-Assad; and Phil Ball examines the crisis of male infertility asking: where has all the sperm gone?