Recently for the past three Wednesdays at 12 o’clock until half past I have become engrossed in watching events unfold in the House of Commons.
It’s almost as if this time every week a particularly dysfunctional Christmas is happening. Family from all over the country gather together and discuss recent happenings around the table and when things begin to get out of hand the patriarch calls for calm.
Funnily enough the patriarch is never the Prime Minister and is instead it Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow (shown right). Personally, it’s a highlight of mine when he calls for order. It’s like a school teacher telling off a whole classroom of misbehaving children, except he does it with a sort of cheeky grin and an incredulous look in his eyes.
Anyway the main reason I like it is because it’s sort of a massive bitch fight between the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition, Ed Milliband, and nine times out of ten the Prime Minister wins leaving Milliband looking foolishly on as his adversary interacts with backbench MPs from both wings.
There are a few things I don’t quite understand, like the fact that after one MP says something a few others stand up for a little while before reclaiming their seats. Other than that I think I get the basics, the Prime Minister makes a statement, Miliband asks a question Cameron replies until eventually it gets to the point where they ridicule each other using political language mere mortals such as myself have hardly a hope of deciphering. After this the Speaker of the House of Commons names MPs who have a question for Cameron and that appears to go in the order of opposition, friend, opposition, friend etc etc.
While I enjoy the exchanges between the Prime Minister and Miliband (and the resulting glowering glare from the latter that is full of unadulterated annoyance and, dare I say it, jealousy) I particularly look forward to MPs from all over the country asking the Prime Minister different things.
For example today an MP, I forget her name, asked Cameron about FIFA refusing to allow the national England football team to wear a poppy on their kit. As a result he wrote a letter to the organisation, as did Prince William soon after, and FIFA have concede that the team can now wear a poppy on the black armbands they would be wearing out of respect anyway.
Hazel Blears, a Labour MP, asked something of the Prime Minister quite amicable which is quite rare for someone from the opposition to do. However I wasn’t paying attention to what she was asking because for a moment I thought I was looking at someone else…