April 19, 2014

I risk jumping on a bandwagon, but it is an issue that has bothered me and fellow Lib Dems for a long time: the terrible Yah –Boo culture during Prime Minister’s Questions or otherwise known as PMQ. While the Prime Minister is shouting at the top of his voice, the MP’s on the opposition benches are almost out of their seats screaming and booing, while the people behind the PM are trying to shout and boo even louder. Then the opposition leader gets up and the whole theatre turns the other way round. Nobody listens, nobody cares about the content, only plain abuse and some simplistic headlines is what can be heard about the deafening noise.

Is that how government should be held to account? The answer is clearly NO and indeed government is held to account in a more serious manner ‘behind the scenes’. But why is this disgraceful and ridiculous Punch and Judy Show the public face of Westminster? Haven’t politicians lost enough trust and respect already to be able to afford this nonsense to be seen as the way they do their serious business of representation and government?

I have not heard a single good reason to continue this show of bad manners, disrespect to others and the disregard for the actual issues at hand. It is not the responsibility of the speaker to keep order in this mad house, but for each member to regulate their behaviour. If I was the PM or the Leader of the Opposition I would simply stop talking until everybody in the room had the courtesy to listen – or if they wanted to talk, leave the chamber.

The way PMQ is conducted at the moment gives politics a bad name and it is the responsibility of each Member of Parliament to bring an end to it. It doesn’t need new regulations or codes of conduct, simply a change of attitude: just stop behaving badly.


One comment

  1. […] 12. PMQ by Wera Hobhouse on Wera’s Blog. Wera has a very simple solution to the problem of rowdy and unpleasant PMQs sessions […]

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