Thursday, 26 March 2009

That Dan Hannan Speech Again

I've seen a lot of talk on political blogs over the past two days in praise of Dan Hannan's speech and why don't the guys over here in Westminster rip Gordon Brown a new arsehole in the house of commons.

The fact is, they can't. Thanks to Parliamentary protocol, everything has to go through the speaker rather than directly to the MP you are criticising. The "Don't you agree Mr Speaker, that the Prime Minister is grinning buffoon?" doesn't have the same impact, because Mr Speaker is in fact staunchly Labour, wouldn't agree and would most likely rebuke the opposition leader for saying it, just to make him feel like a naughty schoolboy.

The other thing about PMQs is that the number of questions that are put to the Prime Minister are limited. The leader of the opposition has a privilege where he can ask more than 1 question of the Prime Minister, but the problem seems to be the Prime Minister has no obligation to directly answer any questions put to him.

So in short, despite Dan's speech being effective, succinct, direct and to the point, it's thanks to EU Parliamentary protocol that it hapened at all. It simply wouldn't happen in our Parliament, which really does impoverish our so-called democracy.

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