Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Free Speech For MPs

So Hansard has been doctored to remove an expletive allegedly uttered by Armed Forces Minister Bob Ainsworth.

Ainsworth has been accused of muttering something to the effect that Conservative MP John Baron had been talking "absolute bollocks". Ainsworth denied it. Now the Speaker (famed for his neutrality) has got his fellow party member off the hook by ruling that he could be sure who said it, so it should be expunged from the records.

Quite apart from the ethics of having the records changed in order to protect those in positions of authority, I think it's rather a shame that exchanges like this aren't published. And while making Hansard accurate, we could also lose this archaic concept of "unparliamentary language".

It would be far more entertaining if MPs were allowed to say whatever they like to each other. They'd probably recognise that their constituents wouldn't like them going too far, and the odd reference to "bollocks" or bloody nonsense" would enliven dull debates considerably.

I think I probably made passing reference some time ago to the fact that I think MPs' behaviour is poor, and I do. But my distaste is aimed more at the constant interruptions, the shouting, barracking and various other measures that undermine the principles of the right of others to express an opinion. The odd b-word I wouldn't mind.

Quite apart from which, "bollocks" is one of my favourite words. Bollocks, bollocks, bollocks...


nuttycow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nuttycow said...

I'll try again, shall I?

I'm with you on bollocks... also have a bit of a thing for facetious. It tends to roll off the tongue... unlike bollocks.

Alright, this comment turned out a lot dirtier than I hoped.