Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Thursday, 11 June 2009

I could barely hear Nick Clegg yesterday at PMQs

The House of Commons behaves disgracefully sometimes.

I usually watch PMQs on the TV but I had to listen to it on the radio yesterday. It was a bit difficult sometimes to make out what Brown and Cameron were saying due to the barracking and shouting and a couple of times when it got too bad the Speaker intervened to stop it.

However when Nick Clegg was trying to speak there was very loud barracking and also people clearly having very loud conversations which were picked up and transmitted by the microphones. Perhaps it is easier to tune this stuff out when you have the pictures too because today I could barely hear what he was saying.

Now I am not really trying to make a party political point here because this sort of discourteous behaviour is on show in the Commons from all sides and against most people who speak, especially when the House is very busy. At a time when politicians are supposed to be listening to what people want to trying to reform politics do they really think this sort of display is what the public want to see? No wonder people are so turned off by politics in this country.

I have written about this before back in January and I know I am not the only person who feels like this.


Edis said...

For some reason Mr Speaker Martin is unlikely to give Nick the protection of polite order in the house.

Fausty said...

The Speaker was partisan as usual, berating the House for heckling Brown, but not extending the same courtesy to Clegg and Cameron. Only 12 days to go ... :)

Anonymous said...

"Perhaps it is easier to tune this stuff out when you have the pictures too"

Nope, that just makes it worse because then you can also SEE them acting like children.

Constantly Furious said...

I did watch it on telly, and Cleggy was well off his best form.

In contrast to recent weeks, he was not saying anything particularly interesting, and he wasn't saying it with his usual force either. He looked and sounded like he'd rather be elsewhere.

Not surprising people stopped listening.

Joe Otten said...

They didn't stop listening, Furious, they deliberately started this loud conversation about something else as soon as Nick stood up. It is a calculated insult, and nothing to do with what he subsequently said.

Mark Reckons said...

Yes, What Joe Said CF. They were doing it before and as he stood up.

Anyway, I think my main point may have got a bit lost here. I am not trying special pleading for Clegg. It is just disgraceful that MPs behave like this at all. They should be quiet when anyone is speaking in the chamber.

Can you imagine a company meeting or similar where anyone who spoke was barracked and heckled? It would not be tolerated. Why is it tolerated in our primary political debating chamber?

MPs need to grow up. They are so ensconsed in it that they cannot even see how awful it looks.

Oranjepan said...

When I've seen Clegg in person he can be quite assertive, either that's not enough in the commons or he's trying to make a point by omission... with frustration at politicians running at an all-time high this may be a well-calculated gamble.

Anonymous said...

They should place microphones on each minister and monitor when they are making noises.

You could then have a "Respect" graph published online to show who is speaking whilst others were speaking.

Not sure if I'm entirely serious or not here....