‘The decline of Parliament’ is an old story. Announced by Bryce in 1920, it has characterized a century which, as Wheare has shown, has been hard on legislatures. Many explanations have been offered: the mass electorate; the State’s intervention in the economy; the growth of bureaucracy; the need for strong and rapid executive decisions in an age of economic and international crisis; the concentration of public attention and loyalty on heads of government through the mass media; the complexity of modern military and economic problems compared to the simple issues of principle—slavery, home rule for Ireland, relations of Church and State—which dominated the politics of the liberal era. Governments were therefore feared and suspected as natural enemies of liberty who would always abuse the power they wielded. Indeed the spirit of parliamentary camaraderie sometimes seemed to extend to a shared mistrust of ‘the common enemy, the voter’.