I've been enjoying watching the BBC2 series Inside the Commons not least because, when - in a previous life - I was a Civil Servant, a part of my work involved having to draft replies for Parliamentary Questions; or brief Secretaries of State and Royals for visits; or submit support for Honours nominations; or answer MPs' questions on all sorts affecting their constituencies. It has therefore been interesting to see the inner workings of the hallowed halls where my hard work over several decades landed up.
But oh my word, had I by mistake tuned in to Children's Playhour or something? Considering the British Parliament and democratic system has been long revered all over the world, it was something of a shock to see the juvenile way they carry on. I know we've been accustomed to seeing TV coverage of the daily shenanigans between Cameron and Miliband where they duck and dive at one another with only a table to keep them apart.
You stole my lollipop.
Well, you took my model dinosaur.
Well, I'm going to tell teacher, so there.
We've also heard the excited baying of the House like a load of sheep. But Members deliberately playing for time and sabotaging Private Members' Bills by first interrupting them in mid-speech and then talking for as long as they can (even according to William Hague for as long as 24-hours) to prevent the Member reading out his bill.... that really is childish. Or camping out all night in the corridor next to the relevant office to make sure their bill is first in the queue. I thought that only happened the night before the Harrods' or Apple sale. Fancy all that being the envy of the world! It's all a little bit like this.......