The Levellers wanted to restrict the time one person could serve as MP to a year to prevent the growth of a political class. They were acutely conscious that MPs should not be a class apart, as Nicholas Winterton would have them be, but those with careers and farms and practices who sprang from the constituency and whose interests were those of their neighbours and fellow worshippers who returned them to Parliament.
The dissolution of this Rotten Parliament will also see the retirement of the last remnants of MPs who served as their forebears have served since the seventeenth century. But if this was the Rotten Parliament, the next threatens to be the Parliament of Dags.
Instead of revitalising the moribund and dis-empowered local parties, party HQs have exercised even more of a stranglehold over candidate selection with Dag Quotas and parachuted Dags, giving voters an unprecedented field of Dag candidates of such uninspiring mediocrity that their only distinguishing characteristic is the degree of sycophancy towards party bosses that each evinces. They will form a parliament of fawning, creeping, obedient nonentities competing wetly for junior office, holding to the evil lie that 'politics is a profession'.
The next election will improve the health of our democracy about as much as an infection of Smallpox.
The choice is between Brown, a liar, a crooked deceiver, a coward, who suborns every trace of honourable conduct and responsibility to his own interest, and Cameron, a sincere and honourable man but weak as a reed and who lacks the intellectual strength to put country before party. God help us.
My only real hope is that the election sparks the fires of chaos in Parliament, and that from the ashes something good may be reborn.