Public Affairs: Soap Box - John Lehal, managing director, Insight Public Affairs

It's a year since Parliament was injected with 232 bright young things.

The class of 2010 includes parliamentarians with considerable external experience, and they're very focused on serving their constituents.

Many have hit the ground sprinting. Unprecedented numbers serve on select committees; the backbench business committee has resulted in more time for topical debates; and ministers are coming to the House far more to make statements and respond to colleagues.

However, it's not just the new job enthusiasm, nor the reapplying for the job (there will be 50 fewer MPs in the 2015 Parliament) - MPs are also making a conscious decision to speak in the chamber.

Despite this, I fear the quality of parliamentary debate has suffered. Too often, MPs without a command of the subject deliver a bland and loyal speech, or just crowbar in references to constituency initiatives.

With some of Labour's 2010 intake already promoted to the frontbench, we have seen MPs winding up debates and leading on standing committees without a grasp of procedure or issues. We're witnessing time limits - how can anyone engage in a complex policy debate in six minutes? And saddest of all, MPs aren't debating and taking interventions; they are just reading a speech, fearful that an opponent may challenge them.

There are still high expectations of our new MPs. My advice to them is to pick the specialist subjects where they really can contribute to advancing policy; take time to think and understand the subject; and don't rush - this intake is younger than any before it.

Politics is an unforgiving business; be noticed for the right reasons, not exposed for the wrong ones.

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