Op-ed: If you ever watch events from the British parliament on its designated live BBC TV channel you probably experience a range of emotions including disappointment, anger and despair with the odd giggle thrown in.
But it shouldn't be like that should it?
The House of Lords was the first of the two houses to get televised with MPs in the Commons resisting until the bitter end. After a series of essentially time wasting debates and votes on the matter finally in 1989 cameras were rolling in the Commons.
This followed 22 debates in 11 years about whether or not to let the cameras in.
It was still at the experimental stage, with restrictions on close-ups etc., but was finalised in 1990 after it was shown that televising the Commons had increased news coverage.
Twenty-six years later the British public and world citizens who opt to tune in watch something somewhere between a Whitehall farce and a drunken vaudeville show and yes there have been accusations that some Ministers enjoy a bit too much hospitality in the parliamentary bars.
When you watch PMQs on a Wednesday live from the Commons it is easy to see why some did their best to prevent TV camera crews filming and screening Commons daily events live.
But there was a time when at least a pretence of mutual respect prevented the commons turning into a kindergarten for adults or is that looking back through rose-coloured glasses?
The last three speakers
The last three elections of a new House of Commons Speaker (1992, 2000 and 2009) have all been relatively controversial according to Wikipedia.
"Bernard Weatherill had announced his impending retirement a long time before the 1992 general election, leading to a long but suppressed campaign for support. Betty Boothroyd, a Labour MP who had been Deputy Speaker, was known to be extremely interested in becoming the first woman Speaker (and in doing so, finished the chances of fellow Labour MP Harold Walker who had also been Deputy Speaker).
The Conservative former Cabinet member Peter Brooke was put forward at a late stage as a candidate. Unlike previous elections, there was an active campaign among Conservative MPs to support Boothroyd and about 70 of them did so, ensuring her election. She was the only speaker elected in the 20th century not to be a member of the governing party at the time of her first election."
Boothroyd kept the theatrics in order but at times played to the House. She "announced her retirement shortly before the summer recess in 2000, which left a long time for would-be Speakers to declare their candidature but little opportunity for Members of Parliament to negotiate and decide on who should be chosen."
Although some Conservatives felt strongly that the recent alternation between the main parties should be maintained and a Conservative Speaker chosen a lengthy sitting of the House saw Michael Martin, Labour, voted in.
Perhaps the 'tory boys' responded well to discipline by Betty Boothroyd as it took them back to their nannies and public school days but since the demise of Martin something rotten has developed in the role of Speaker of the House of Commons?
In October 2015 Boothroyd told the right-wing Daily Mail "'My old party is galloping towards the precipice' as she slams the Corbyn faction taking over her beloved Labour...and says Ed Miliband is to blame" perhaps explaining why the Tories loved her so.
When John Bercow did his job, part two
Expenses scandal hits the speaker, part three
John Bercow House of Commons speaker, part four
British political scene
The next General Election in the UK may not be scheduled any time soon but the British political landscape is changing. With that in mind this blog will concentrate on the political scene but with a left wing perspective. Opinion pieces and news will bring you the stories that the MSM prefer to ignore.
Running a news based website is fun, time consuming and can be costly. If you would like to help the site keep afloat please use the donate button