Nama's critics spoke too soon but questions are needed now
Published 13/08/2015 | 02:30
Did you know that the idea of a constitutional opposition to government originated in a family bust-up between Britain's King George I and his son? No, neither did I.
One lot sided with the king and another with the son. The point was that, after a century of dynastic wars - ending in the Battle of Aughrim - nobody could accuse the prince's lot of treason, since he was the Prince of Wales. They were just being troublesome.
So what, you may say? I hasten to add that I have little interest in Hanoverian family squabbles as such. But it did strike me that the theory fits with the problem of opposition in modern parliaments. A "loyal opposition" is merely waiting to become a government, just as the prince's lot were merely waiting for him to become king, and receive the rewards for their loyalty.