Listening to the Commons (well, the Tory half anyway), baying for a withdrawal when Gordon Brown dropped the word ‘misleading’ into a response during PMQs this week, I felt (oddly, you might suppose, given I’m a lifelong Labour man) my heart swelling with pride in the unruly vigour of our central democratic institution.
Don’t talk to me about bringing an end to ‘Punch & Judy’ politics. Punch & Judy are fundamental to the process. Long may they reign! I do understand that plenty of people feel alienated by all the ‘ya-boo’ and I also agree that it’s probably not the best incentive for non-toffs to join up but, to be honest, I really want my MP to be fully Punch & Judy-compliant and robust enough to mix it up with the shouty types when necessary.
And another thing. I really don’t like the look of all those tidy, civilised horseshoe assemblies (like the ones they’ve got in Wales and Scotland) with their microphones and their wait-for-your-turn and their nasty Mr Sheen shine. Enough: I’m turning into my father. This morning’s Week in Westminster has a bit of ya-boo and an interview with marvelous Parliamentary irritant Dennis Skinner that really cheered me up (especially the bit about calling David Owen a ‘pompous sod’). (MP3, Real, podcast).
Pic from parliament.uk.