It’s William Cobbett’s 250th birthday today. In honour of the occasion here are the great radical’s views on sitting in the very uncomfortable House of Commons chamber in the years leading up to the calamitous fire of 1834:
Why are we squeezed into so small a space that it is absolutely impossible that there should be calm and regular discussion, even from the circumstance alone? Why do we live in this hubbub? Why are we exposed to all these inconveniences? Why are 658 of us crammed into a space that allows each of us no more than a foot and a half square while at the same time, each of the servants of the King, whom we pay, has a palace to live in, and more unoccupied space in that palace than the little hold into which we are crammed to make the laws by which this great kingdom is governed?
More about Cobbett