The United Kingdom (UK) constitution is often regarded as an arid subject, suitable for discussion only among academics or political obsessives. Constitutional experts rarely intrude upon everyday life unless they are invited to speculate on television about the latest crisis to affect the monarchy. Aristotle believed that a constitution was integral to the way of life of any political society. A distinction is frequently drawn between written and unwritten constitutions. Advocates of a codified constitution for the UK claim that it would be an essential guarantee of liberal democracy, recognising that British people are active citizens rather than passive ‘subjects’. The flexible nature of the UK constitution is tested when a general election does not produce a clear winner, as in 2010 and 2017. The convention of collective ministerial responsibility was stretched in the 1990s, when John Major struggled to keep order within a cabinet which was profoundly split over Europe.