House of Commons art collection: hard bargains and money well spent

What a kerfuffle occurred recently concerning how much the House of Commons has spent – £250,000 in 20 years no less – on portraits of its more distinguished and long-serving members. How shocking and self-indulgent was the general tenor of the response. Well, no actually. To get two dozen paintings for 250 grand suggests someone is driving a hard bargain on our behalf for once. What we have received for our money is generally accomplished if predictable, and dirt cheap. Don’t forget that the Tate recently paid