The Whips divide opinion in British politics, usually depending on which side of the fence you sit on. Those on the frontbenches think they are vital to allowing the machinery of government work; they offer a necessary stability to the uncertain world of the legislature and provide the oil required to make the machine work. For some on the backbenches they represent the "old politics", whom wish for there to be no dissent, stifle freedom of speech and clamp down on the honest plain speaking that out politics, so distrusted by the public, needs.
Whatever side you sit on, this article from former Tory MP Paul Goodman on ConservativeHome.Com, with the current government Chief Whip is outstanding and really helps us to understand who the whips are and what they do.
If the electoral system is up for debate, and the number and size of constituencies, why should the fusion of the legislature and the executive not be up for debate too? Because therein lies the real debate over the dark arts of the whips.