(Background: Cable's interview with the Richmond and Twickenham Times was given earlier on 3 December and reported by their website as Breaking News; Question Time was on BBC1 the previous evening.)
I thought it would be interesting to trace the increasing usage of “the Westminster village” (“TWV”) over the last few years by means of search results from NewsUK and Google. The former is confined to the main national and regional newspapers and weekly magazines, while the latter covers less of the conventional media but looks across many websites and blogs. The annual results are shown in the graph below:
However, the NewsUK sources show a peak in 2009 at 236 occurrences and fall in 2010 to 188. The 2010 figure is for the 11 months to 30 November, but the full-year figure is most unlikely to jump by 48 at end-December as the monthly average this year has been only 17. Interestingly, this decline has occurred in a period of extensive political coverage with the general election and the novelty of a coalition. This suggests that the conventional media led the way, firstly in originating the expression, and now in tiring of it. If so, the newer media, for all their decrying of the “dead tree press”, is perhaps more derivative and less original than it would like to think.
... the parliamentary novels of the nineties have taken the lives of those of us who live in the Westminster village and invested them with amazing glamour. ...