|Parliament - Who is listening?|
During Britain's escalating Brexit crisis I have been watching chunks of live television coverage on the BBC Parliament channel. You get to witness emerging debates and I must say I have been uplifted by the eloquence of several of our Members of Parliament.
However, something else emerges and it concerns the conduct of our elected representatives within The House of Commons chamber itself.
Before I reflect upon that behaviour may I first say that as a secondary school teacher I had a set of basic classroom expectations. These unwritten rules included the following:-
No mobile phones
No chewing or eating in class
Listen politely when someone else is speaking
Do not chat with others or make faces across the room
I will be the first to admit that my teenage scholars would occasionally break these "rules" but my expectations were clear and they were all about having the best learning atmosphere possible.
Back to our MP's in The Houses of Parliament. At least three of my five rules are being broken all the time. Though some of our "right honourable" representatives listen attentively, many others think nothing about texting on their phones or checking their Facebook accounts or sending tweets during debates.
To my simple way of thinking, this is is just plain rude. If another MP is speaking then they should be listening - paying attention. And they should not be gesturing across the aisle or thumbing through papers or having conversations with their parliamentary chums. If they wish to do such things they should do them outside the chamber.
Apart from anything else, our leaders should be modelling good behaviour for our young people. In addition, it seems to me that it is insulting to the democratic process to brazenly display such careless inattention. People like the fellow shown below are currently paid £77, 379 per annum plus generous expenses re travel, meals, accommodation and office support.
|Conservative MP asleep during a debate|