Only a few sitting Members of Parliament are directly involved with executive government. Most MPs are backbenchers, so-called because they inhabit the rear seats in the parliament (the ‘frontbenches’ are only occupied by ministers and shadow ministers). Backbenchers might be junior MPs, relatively inexperienced and ‘learning the ropes’ of parliament.

They might be former ministers or prime ministers who have resigned, lost leadership challenges or been demoted from the cabinet. Or they might be unwilling or unsuited for a ministerial post. Nevertheless, they have a number of important responsibilities in the parliament, including voting on bills, delivering speeches, asking questions during question time and representing the interests and welfare of their electorate.


Johnson vs. Trump


Until last fall, Boris Johnson, just like Trump, was also accused of helping destroy his country’s position and status in the world. He was chided for prioritising his narrow political ambition over sacred national interest and the welfare of his constituents . . . The coronavirus pandemic started a race to the bottom among the world’s populist leaders. A little over six months into that race, the partial results are out. And Britain’s Johnson has fared better than most of his fellow populists. After initial blunders, Johnson got his act together, and unlike Trump in the US, he has actually managed to bring the pandemic under control in the UK.