It is assumed by all and sundry. especially other so-called democracies, that the weekly session known as Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) demonstrates the British political system ‘at its best’; in that ordinary Members of Parliament, ie those not ‘holding an office’ of some description, have the opportunity to ask the Leader of the Government of the day any question they wish. This ability to so do is believed to be an example of democracy in action.
How little those that envy the British system actually know.
Members of Parliament are elected to supposedly represent the interests of their constituents, yet repeatedly, where the party in government is concerned, are known to ask questions supplied to them by their party whips. They agree to this for two reasons: (a): to increase the chances of their being able to ‘climb the ladder to fame and fortune’; and, (b): to allow their leader to ‘crow’ about the achievements (some imaginary) of the government. Not that opposition MPs are any different, they too do exactly the same in the hope their party can embarrass the government of the day; and that they may be ‘noticed’ and thus gain a ‘Shadow’ Front Bench position.. Generally, such questions are easy to spot as they are invariably ‘read out’ from what might be called a crib-sheet.
That this weekly event is termed ‘Prime Minister’s Questions’ is in itself a misnomer as yet again, invariably, the question raised is not answered as, more often than not, the Prime Minister of the day will just ignore the question and then talk about something different; and in so doing attempt to conjure up a ‘soundbite’ for that evening’s television news and the next day’s newspapers.
Did not David Cameron, upon his election as party leader in 2005, state that he was: fed up with the Punch and Judy politics of Westminster, the name-calling, backbiting, point-scoring, finger-pointing – that assertion lasted all of ‘five minutes’; and examples of his juvenile (typical political) behaviour are numerous on youtube (calm down dear – listen to the doctor?) try (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heDiKUgG794) – and behind him we see and hear what can only be described as a baying mob egging him on. Did not Jeremy Corbyn, on assuming the office of Leader of the Opposition from Ed Miliband, promise an end to personal attacks and did not Cameron respond by informing him to: put on a proper suit, do up your tie and sing the national anthem? This is democracy in action, this is politics in action, something to be held in high regard?
While those who feel they should be ‘revered’ and held in high regard because of their position in our society, who feel they should be held in high regard for their knowledge of ‘matters of state’ continue to act like juveniles and unknowing idiots, who feel able to legislate on morality, while exhibiting a lack in that matter – then why should we, the electorate, accord them our respect? Why should we listen to one word they say? More to the point, why should we allow them to exist and fund their activities?
Currently we have the unedifying spectacle of MPs clamouring for their voice to be heard on the matter of Brexit, but who for the last 43 years have seemed disinterested in the developments that have led to Brexit. On this subject there is another unedifying spectacle of MPs who, remember, are elected to represent the views of their constituents now ignoring those views and proclaiming they voted to remain a member of the European Union and still believe they were right to so do.
Bearing in mind that our nation has a special relationship with the USA – and where they lead we tend to follow – courtesy is due to Ian Parker-Joseph who alerted me to this video. So all one can say to our politicians – who assure us they know best – most definitely does not contain the word ‘thanks’.