This is a softback book, entitled 'Commons Knowledge - How to be a Backbencher', written by the late Labour MP for Newport West, Paul Flynn, who was named Backbencher of the Year by the Spectator in 1996. The book is signed by the author on the title page and has a foreword by the late Labour MP for West Ham, Tony Banks. Illustrations are by Mumph. It was published in 1997 by Seren, an imprint of Poetry Wales Press Ltd.
Commons Knowledge makes the case for the active, rigorous backbench MP. From taking the oath to resigning, it offers advice for new and veteran backbenchers alike. The informative narrative is a valuable guide to what can be achieved by backbenchers - invaluable to both would-be MPs and constituents who want to know what their MP ought to be doing. The book presents a humorous insider guide to life in Parliament, with advice on how to become an MP, what to do once elected and the sorts of pressures MPs are faced with once elected. In addition, it has comedic take on how MPs can resign and/or be ennobled - quite a number of the chapters being entitled 'How to....'
Paul Philip Flynn (9 February 1935 - 17 February 2019) was a British Labour Party politician, who was the Member of Parliament (MP) for Newport West from the 1987 general election until his death. He briefly served as Shadow Secretary of State for Wales and Shadow Leader of the House of Commons during 2016. Aged 81, he became the oldest MP in over a century to hold a shadow cabinet position. His work on social and transport legislation is much admired, while his forthright views on the constitution, sleaze, drugs (legal and illegal), and the mis-selling of pensions are well known.
The book is in very good condition, although the front cover shows a few impressions of it having being used as a support for writing and the outer corners have minor bumping. The top left hand corner of page 52 indicates that it has been folded down but all other pages are sound and clean.
165 pages including a glossary of parliamentary terms and an index of the names of MPs who have been cited by the author in his book.