Prime Minister's Questions: Only in the UK parliament does the writ of the Bullingdon Club Bullies run.
Anyone who has caught the merest glimpse of Prime Minister's Questions will know it is the most disgusting spectacle to be seen in any European or north American parliament.
Since Jeremy Corbyn became LP leader this embarrassment of democratic accountability has reached new lows. Week in and week out during Prime Minister's Questions, we see MPs acting in a manner which would get them arrested if repeated out on the street.
Yet the Broadcasters, the BBC and Sky, along with parliament's own TV channel, broadcast what can only be called a censored version of this event. What the electorate see on their TV is nothing like the real thing in the flesh.
This is hardly surprising because how MPs actually behave when off camera during PMQs doesn't show them or the so called mother of parliaments in a good light. MP's barrack, intimidate, bully, make crude jokes and sexist remarks, they holler and howl like wild animals in distress, and break out in mockney laughter when Mr Corbyn the leader of the opposition gets up to speak.
These days this type of behavior is especially true of male Tory MPs,* whose behaviour is often crude, nasty and childlike. Rather than the nation's lawmakers, they act more like schoolyard bullies. This is all choreographed by the PM David Cameron, a man who rarely if ever answered a question as a normal being would. What should be the most democratic forum of the week with the PM answering question from the opposition honestly and openly is reduced by Cameron into a half hour of PR speak, interspersed with the howling of Tory MPs.
When Cameron is not rattling off PR speak or sloganeering over and again, his speciality is put downs to female members of the opposition.
"Calm down dear, calm down, calm down dear," he once infamously told Angela Eagle, a LP front bench spokesperson. When asked to apologise he repeated his sexist aside to the delight of his male MP's "I'm not going to apologise, you do need to calm down."
Ms Eagle later told the BBC: "I don't think a modern man would have expressed himself that way. What I was trying to do was point out that he had got some facts wrong."
Indeed, if you judge these people by their behaviour you could hardly call them modern men, more throwbacks to the 19th century methinks.
This type of riotous behaviour would not be tolerated in any other European parliamentary forum. If such reprehensible behaviour did take place, the chair would have told the culprit to leave the chamber immediately. Only in the UK parliament does the writ of the Bullingdon Club bullies run.
For the viewer watching PMQs much of this bad behaviour passes them by, even more so if they rely on the small clips shown on the news, even the roar of these imbeciles is somewhat toned down by the broadcasters.
Why, because in an agreement with MPs the broadcasters agreed to have only static cameras in specified places with the Commons chamber.
This ruritanian agreement means when an MP is behaving badly they are rarely caught on camera, the worst of these louts long ago worked out where the static cameras point and simple stay out of view when shouting abuse. Something even football hooligans cannot get away with today, unlike parliamentarians in the UK.
You might think so what, this would not stop the Speaker turfing these guilty MPs out of the chamber. Fat chance of that. The most speaker John Bercow ever does is say something inane like, "There's far too much noise in this chamber, which makes a very bad impression on the public as a whole." When he knows full well the viewing public only get a censored version of PMQs thus will not being seeing much of the loutish behaviour.
Refurbishment of Parliament offers a chance to reform
Parliament is quite literally falling down around its lawmakers. Athough many being relics from a bygone age, I doubt they notice it. But this refurbishment does offer an opportunity to restructure a modern 21st century parliamentary chamber. The UK is the only parliamentary forum which encourages such bad behaviour by sitting government and opposition facing off. We need a new half circle chamber similar to the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh.
Whether it is constructed in the Westminster estate or within a new build, will be for others to decide. I believe a new build would be the best option, a new parliamentary complex could be purpose built, with Cameras situated to cover debates and PMQs from all angles. Thus when an MP resorts to Bullingdon boys retro, their constituents will quickly know they have a lout and a thug representing them and act accordingly.
As to the Westminster estate in which parliament now sits, sell it off to the highest bidder. The Tories were not slow when they sold off the GLC's County Hall, and are still over keen when it comes to selling the nation's family silver. So there is no good reason why this archaic piece of mockney gothic architecture should not go the same way. This would be one privatisation I would willing support.
* Those who behave in this manner are almost always men.