You see how this House of Commons has begun to verify all the ill prophecies that were made of it—low, vulgar, meddling with everything, assuming universal competency, and flattering every base passion—and sneering at everything noble refined and truly national. The direct tyranny will come on by and by, after it shall have gratified the multitude with the spoil and ruin of the old institutions of the land.
—Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834) English Poet, Literary Critic, Philosopher
A severe though not unfriendly critic of our institutions said that the cure for admiring the House of Lords was to go and look at it.
—Walter Bagehot (1826–77) English Economist, Journalist
You behold a range of exhausted volcanoes. Not a flame flickers on a single pallid crest.
—Benjamin Franklin (1706–90) American Political Leader, Inventor, Diplomat
You have sat too long for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!
—Oliver Cromwell (1599–1658) British Head of State, Military Leader
Parliament is not a congress of ambassadors from different and hostile interests; which interests each must maintain, as an agent and advocate, against other agents and advocates; but parliament is a deliberative assembly of one nation, with one interest, that of the whole; where, not local purposes, not local prejudices ought to guide, but the general good, resulting from the general reason of the whole. You choose a member indeed; but when you have chosen him, he is not a member of Bristol, but he is a member of parliament.
—Edmund Burke (1729–97) British Philosopher, Statesman
Would it be possible to stand still on one spot more majestically—while simulating a triumphant march forward—than it is done by the two English Houses of Parliament?
—Alexander Herzen (1812–70) Russian Revolutionary, Writer