The thin veneer of respect

imagesYKE721R9Yesterday in Parliament, the new SNP MPs were taken to task for applauding the words of their own colleagues in the debate on the Queens speech. The Speaker, John Bercow waited until the third incidence of this affront to Parliamentary tradition before intervening and reminding these new MPs that their behaviour was unparliamentary. What he did not do was to apologise to these MPs and indeed to the nation that funds the 650 MPs and the Parliamentary Estate to the tune of some £2BN per year for the rest of the behaviour which passes for acceptable and pseudo respectable Parliamentary activities in the debating chamber. When David Cameron was last in opposition as the 2010 election approached, he argued as Tony Blair had done before him, that if elected he would stop the punch and judy politics which sadly somehow passes the test of Parliamentary behaviour. That promise, like the one before was broken within days of that election and there was no such promise this time. In some settings polite applause is seen as an entirely appropriate response to a well crafted speech. Indeed in many churches that is becoming acceptable behaviour. What does not pass such a test in such settings is for people to make snide comments or patronising put downs or to laugh at peoples failings and weaknesses and generally to poke fun at other people from within the organisation. I have not yet seen a summary of the Queens speech but I doubt that the Government will have given any indication that it wishes to improve the way in which Parliament operates. I am probably being too simplistic, but it seems to me that if these political representatives are willing to behave like this with one another, that their attitude towards us will be even more disrespectful.


About ianchisnall

I have a passion to see public policy made accessible everyone who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as in policies on health services and strategic planning.
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