Op-Ed: Originally written in May 2012 it seems little has changed in the House of Commons for the better when you consider the role of Speaker.
That office has associated support including deputy speakers but is supposed to offer an unbiased role that is cross-party.
In 2012 we wrote;
""Slapped wrists" for PM Cameron
UK Parliamentary business at times is reminiscent of kindergarten; tit for tat remarks, honourable members flouncing out, tipsy politicians having enjoyed the benefits of the Commons bar then acting in a thuggish manner and more. It can be entertaining to watch but often it is embarrassing. Once it was decided that cameras would be placed in the Commons it was generally though standards would improve. If they have then heaven only knows what they were like before.
Keeping order over the honourable ministers is the Speaker of the House of Commons, who school playground and that kiddies rhyme "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me"
In reality words can be very hurtful. They can also show a lack of respect and damage any working relationship.
Of course at times all politicians take a little poetic licence. They do have to carefully make sure however that they don't overstep the mark. When Cameron called Labour Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls an "idiot" it was deemed a step too far.
It has been noticeable that when the PM is under pressure or perhaps looks in danger of losing a political argument he becomes irritated. He then name calls, chides, talks down to and snaps. These may be common traits but they are not part of Political Standards in the UK.
The PM said idiot, referring to Ed balls and he has since had to apologise. Cameron was giving the Government a virtual pat on the back as he said they had in enterprise zones found, "innovative ways of using our hard-won credibility, which we wouldn't have if we had listened to the muttering idiot opposite me". This is not first attack on Ed Balls; as an old Etonian Cameron should know that this is just "not cricket".
Labour responded calling the PM Flashman as an attack on his privileged background. Asked to withdraw the word "idiot" a smiling or should that be smarmy Cameron responded by saying. "I will replace it with 'the man who left us this enormous deficit and this financial crisis'."
That old chestnut.
Labour had to pick the pieces up after years of mismanagement by the Tories especially those years under Maggie Thatcher and so it seems that each government blames its predecessors.
Perhaps in truth none of them are up to the job?
In a day for apologies Cameron said sorry to veteran Labour minister Dennis Skinner for past treatment. He could not prevent his sarcasm though saying," he actually believed Mr Skinner was a "tremendous ornament" to Parliament."
Well Dodgy Dave you know what they say about sarcasm? It is the lowest form of wit and so presumably is not statesman like?
Tweets, condemnations and more have accompanied today's shenanigans but in reality all the British people want is these overpaid louts in Parliament do what they are paid to do. To act as responsible adults, to debate, decide and legislate and quit the theatrics.
Vaudeville died many years ago but either that or the great British Farce appears alive and well preforming daily in the Houses of Parliament with a special performance each Wednesday, called PMQs.
This is a brief four part report;
House of Commons speaker, part one
Expenses scandal hits the speaker, part three
John Bercow House of Commons speaker, part four
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