Self-seeking politicians are, as we all know, nothing new. Here is Sarah, Duchess of Marlborough, writing to her granddaughter Diana, Duchess of Bedford in 1733:
What you say of the extremes in elections is a melancholy truth, but considering the vast power that ministers have by disposing of places, honours and money I can’t see how it is possible to keep them within just bounds, but by the help of some that have not thoroughly the principles that one wishes, and some of them may assist those that wish what is for the true interest of England, without being able to effect their own designs.
So, get into bed with people you don’t entirely agree with to achieve a consensus that’s for the good of the country. A lesson for today, perhaps?