The brass neck of politicians

  • 30 November 2011
  • From the section UK Politics
  • comments

Is this getting silly or what?

Hardly a day goes by in the Commons without ex-ministers from the Blair and Brown years condemning Coalition ministers for announcing new policies in the media rather than to the House. They were, of course, members of governments that, er, announced policies in the media rather than to the House on an almost daily basis - and the current ministers they now condemn used to condemn them, just as righteously for doing what they, themselves, do now.

All the brass neck on view must make it difficult to perform the required intellectual and moral somersaults - but somehow our politicians manage it. Does either side really imagine that anyone is impressed by the synthetic anger and faux contrition displayed on these occasions?

Interestingly, the Backbench Business Committee is going to hold a debate - on December 5th - on the suggestion that future breaches of the protocol requiring policy announcements to be made to the House should result in punishment being meted out by Mr Speaker or, in more serious cases, by the Standards and Privileges Committee. Conservative Phillip Hollobone will lead the debate.

Perhaps in time we will see a new parliamentary artwork to rank with the recent portrait of Mr Speaker Bercow - "Mr Speaker scourging the wrongdoers from the Chamber," perhaps?

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