Weimar to Westminster, by Peter RostISBN: 978-0-9553507-5-7
Publisher: Dynasty Press Ltd
This an important book, a frank and revealing story. It should be read by those who want to believe our Parliamentary system of democracy is not irretrievably broken. It reassures us that Britain remains one of the world's most tolerant, liberal, law-abiding and democratic societies.
Peter Rost is not the first German-born British M.P, but as a Berliner, he was the first to go to school under the Nazi regime and obliged to conform, aged six, by participating in the Hitler Youth.
With a Jewish father and a blond 'Aryan' mother, his parents' marriage no longer had legal status under the Nazis.
The family joined the flood of refugees to England in 1937. Despite being an outsider during the war and the disadvantages of a disrupted education, Peter Rost managed to get to university, become a financial journalist and a Member of the London Stock Exchange, before becoming a Member of Parliament.
His story shows that the now dissolved, discredited Parliament contained Members who were honest, dedicated, hard working and unselfish in their pursuit of the public good, and that it was a small minority that shamed and damaged our most vital institution.
A leading member of the Energy Select Committee, he refused the easy role of lobby fodder, speaking and voting according to his conscience. Often challenging the dictat of the Whips, he tried to resist the short termism of the Treasury and political expediency. He illustrated how the system should be reformed to strengthen the power of back benchers.
The book provides a stark warning that we should not lose faith in our system of Government, just because a handful of Members abused their power and privelage; and shows how the system can be creditably reformed.
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