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Honourable Friends?: Parliament and the Fight for Change

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  578 ratings  ·  55 reviews
In 2010 Caroline Lucas gained access to the country's most exclusive club - Parliament - and became a witness to its absurdities, inefficiencies and uniquely baffling customs. As a woman, as the only Green, and as an MP still trusted by her voters and the wider public, Lucas is an outsider in an elitist member's club fossilized by tradition and self-interest, fighting for ...more
Paperback, 281 pages
Published March 5th 2015 by Portobello Books Ltd
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Average rating 4.22  · 
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 ·  578 ratings  ·  55 reviews

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Sean Barrs
My politics, as some of you may have gathered from a few of my reviews, are that of a green. Here’s what Lucas defines them as:

“Green politics is deeply concerned with the places where we live: whether it is a one-bed flat or the entire planet, it is all part of our environment. It is also about how humanity can live in balance with our home the earth, and that is all humanity, wherever they live and whatever their circumstances.”


For over a century Britain has been ruled by the same tired
Oct 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is by Caroline Lucas, co-leader of The Green Party in Britain, and the only member of the party to hold a seat in Parliament. They have however 145 seats in county and district councils and three members in The European Parliament. This doesn't sound much, but she is well respected. She is quite often seen in political programmes on television, and I think she broadens these debates considerably, and for the better.

The book has two themes - firstly she critiques the recent coalition g
John Wright
Mar 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'm not a Green supporter (at least not our slightly inept green council) but this is a fabulous book. A good old fashioned polemic and a manifesto and a history all wrapped up.
I was a little shocked to find out how much I agreed with her world view. Recommended for anyone who cares about SOMETHING... No matter what.
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Being inspired and uplifted by the words of a politician is an unfamiliar experience and a lovely one. Caroline Lucas has written a lucid, humane, and hopeful book on her experiences as the UK’s first Green MP. There is a slightly bittersweet element to reading it now, however. In the 2015 election Lucas herself was deservedly re-elected to Brighton Pavilion with an increased majority, but the better government she repeatedly expresses a wish for post-coalition has not materialised. Instead, we ...more
Kate Vane
Mar 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is Caroline Lucas’ account of five years as a Green MP. In it she covers the key areas of her work and outlines her beliefs. She also casts a critical eye over the arcane procedures of Parliament, and more importantly, the ways in which the institutions of state maintain the status quo.

This is an enjoyable and engaging read. You feel as if she’s in the room speaking to you. If you are new to Green politics, it’s a good introduction. For me, this is pretty familiar territory, but still, it’s
Stephanie Jane
May 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
See more of my book reviews on my blog, Literary Flits

Whether you support the Green Party or not (I do!), Honourable Friends? is a fascinating read as it illuminates the wasteful and frankly ridiculously old-fashioned way business is done at Westminster. In this memoir of her first years as an MP, Lucas describes her experiences and exasperations at trying to do a challenging job in an environment patently unsuited to twenty-first century politics. She is essentially an outsider in an exclusive
Sophie (RedheadReading)
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Extremely interesting and somehow very relevant to our upcoming election despite being published in 2015!
Mark Avery
Sep 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
I was given this book as a birthday present and I’ve read it all now.

Caroline Lucas is a very admirable politician. I’m sure she has lots of faults, we all do, but if only we had a few more politicians like her then environmental matters would get a much fairer hearing in the Westminster parliament and the world would be a better place.

Caroline was voted environmental MP of the year on this website in 2013 and I suggested that Labour could court green votes if they pledged to make Caroline Lucas
Lisa Hough-Stewart
Nov 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
I knew in advance that I would agree with most if not all of Caroline Lucas' positions, and of course this turned out to be the case. She is an effective, principled politician who has achieved a disproportionate amount of momentum since 2010. In this book, which recounts her first term as an MP, it is easy to see why. The energy and optimism with which she attacks issues and the archaic systems of Westminster are admirable.
There are many "if you didn't laugh you'd cry" examples of how Westmins
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love Caroline Lucas and think of her as an excellent, truly principled MP. We need more like her.

Honourable Friends? is a great insight into Green Party policies, and Lucas makes many points that had me nodding my head as well as screwing my face up in frustration. However, I did find parts of the book disjointed and in need of editing as a whole.
Mark Farley
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Caroline Lucas is the real deal, man. Yes, she is.

She is the dirtiest, most disgusting, worst thing the establishment has ever seen since The Sex Pistols. And she is fucking brilliant. Independent, consistent, bathes in a deep vat of integrity-laden goo every single hour of every single day for one thing. The people. The people she represents, yes. But, also the people of the world at the same time. There is not an ounce whatsoever of the deep entrenching stomach bile of hatred that most of thi
Sue Hampton
Apr 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm a Green Party member and an admirer of the author so I expected to appreciate this book but it exceeded all my expectations. Lucas is a natural writer. Her style is fluent, engaging and witty as well as passionate and very lucid. As a reader and writer of novels I didn't know non-fiction could be so compelling but this really is the kind of book you'll read in days rather than weeks, and it's packed with interesting details about life at Westminster, her life as an MP so far and of course th ...more
Mar 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A fascinating insight into the workings of parliament and politics of the past 5 years that would be enjoyable for any politico, despite their beliefs.

Caroline Lucas has time and time again shown herself to be a politician of principle and conviction and it saddens me that I'm not part of the electorate that can ensure her another 5 years.
Abi Brown
May 25, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I don't agree with Caroline on every single point of her politics; when is that *ever* true? I have a great deal of admiration for her, however, and while this took me an uncharacteristically long time to read - I kept putting it down and picking it up again a couple of weeks later - I learned a lot from it, and have been inspired by it to keep on keeping on in my own corner of our shared party. ...more
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It was a great, easy to read book. The writing was honest and had personality; Caroline, unlike many MPs, has a real passion for politics and for the betterment of humanity.
Caroline Lucas is one of the few people in British politics that I trust without reservation. As the only MP for the Green Party in parliament, she has repeatedly called both the incumbant Conservatives (as well as the often ineffectual opposition party) to account on issues relating to the erosion of public services and protections, as well as the poor environmental track record of successive governments (even when this draws the ire of the media and condescension from right wingers).

This book
Amanda Jones
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I moved to this country in 2012 and I’m sorry to say, I was fooled back then by Tory Cameron’s confident posturing. By 2015-2016, post-election, the scales were falling fast off my eyes and I began to pay attention to the arguments from the so-called left. Even so, what this book brings home to me is the detail of 2010-2015 which I might never have otherwise come across. Why did Cameron appoint the likes of climate change sceptic Owen Paterson as Secretary of State for the Environment? The econo ...more
5 stars

This was so good! So the Green Party is my political party ( I am a member of the Green society at my uni ) because of what they stand for : equality for everyone and respect for the environment. So I knew when I saw this I just had to pick it up. This is written by the only Green MP in UK parliament Caroline Lucas. I was initially hesitant to pick this up as I barely read Non-Fiction but this has encouraged me to read a bit more non-fiction , especially relating to Politics and the envir
Liam Keogh
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A vital book given the current level of distrust towards all politicians (understandably). A great insight into the ridiculous processes and traditions of life in Westminster. A bit of a warning though, this will definitely not make you feel any better about the ability or desire of the political establishment to improve life for the electorate. Despite attempts to remain upbeat about the possibilities, I was left feeling pretty bleak. 100s of years of the current political system have led us to ...more
Jun 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020, owned
Caroline Lucas is a fabulous MP and activist. In this part memoir part polemic part history she strips down complicated sounding politics and exposes archaic, biased Westminster for what it is.
Her position as the sole Green Party MP, a forever backbencher without the threat of the whip hanging over her - allows her to see things clearly, and truly work for her constituency. She uses her passion and dedication to form cross-party alliances in order to push change through when she can, though ofte
Bethany Woodcock
I found this book interesting, however it lacked consistency - it read more like a collection of miniature essays than an in depth account of one topic. Each chapter could be a fully expanded book in itself and I often finished each one wanting more. However, I did find the preface and prologue the most interesting parts and struggled to read past the chapter about the arms-trade.

It's a great overview of the different issues The Green Party are passionate about, but lack of flow made me put this
Les Dangerfield
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An interesting account of Caroline Lucas’ first five years as a Green MP, between 2010 and 2015. I don’t agree with her on everything but I admire her spirit and her principled stand for what she believes in. She is particularly convincing in her criticisms of the UK’s electoral voting and political party systems and I’m all the more persuaded of the need for urgent change. It must be very hard to have an impact when you’re the only MP a party has, but she seems to have achieved a lot. I’d now l ...more
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lucas is a wonderful, unusual politician and her thoughts on her first term in parliament are refreshing and inspiring. Her vision of a better parliament is radical yet feels entirely achievable. Much like her vision for a better world. The book is a little dry in places but a worthwhile and enjoyable read.
Mairead Hill
Aug 20, 2020 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the first couple of chapters and felt like I was learning but felt like the book lost focus later on. It probably doesn’t help that the book is a bit dated now focusing on issues between 2010-2015, I would still love to read an updated book by Caroline with more current issues and also more of an outline of her green vision for the uk
Johanna Breen
Sep 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Functional, workaday prose, but everyone in the UK should read this book - not for her politics so much as her exposée of the lunacy of our political system and the immense power yielded by corporations and old boys' networks. I was goggle-eyed with horror almost throughout. ...more
Kate K
Mar 23, 2018 rated it liked it
I love Caroline Lucas but she's no author. She offers an interesting and unique insight into the (shocking) inner workings of parliament and for that reason this is a book worth reading. What it isn't is particularly well-written. ...more
E Owen
Dec 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
A passionate rallying cry for a significant reformation of Westminster politics. Particularly poignant in the wake of a general election where the Green Party (like them or not) secured almost a million votes but won only a single seat in the House of Commons.
Frances Wilde
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
So well-written, so informational, and utterly convincing
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Gill by: The Independent
Given the current state of politics, I found this a tough read. It's very accessible and readable but learning just how undemocratic our parliamentary democracy is, was a depressing eye-opener. ...more
Chris Jerrey
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lifts the lid on the arcane traditions of Westminster and questions if these have anything to offer modern Britain. A must for anyone interested in progressive politics.
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Caroline Patricia Lucas is a British politician and member of the Green Party of England and Wales who has been the Member of Parliament for Brighton Pavilion since 2010, when she became the first Green MP in the House of Commons.

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