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I have an idea

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My idea is in relation to the recent removal of a Labour MP from the house of commons for refusing to withdraw her referring to the PM, Johnson, as a liar.  As it is against the protocol of the Palace of Westminster, certainly within the house of commons, to refer to any MP sitting in the house as a liar I wondered to myself what would be the reaction of the house speaker, presently Lindsay Hoyle, if all opposition MPs simply held up a notice with the single word, "Liar" perhaps with the word "Lie" on the reverse and as Johnson responded to any questions from such as Starmer or the other opposition leaders and MPs the whole opposition benches sat with the signs across their laps in clear view of the commons TV cameras?

Whilst the opposition MP asking Johnson a question would not accuse the PM of lying the other MPs would make it clear what they thought of any response/answer to the question asked. Might this get around the house's rules in that the opposition MPs could not be accused of calling the PM a liar as they would not directly have uttered a word would they?   The speaker would have to ask each and every one of the sitting MPs in the chamber why they are holding such a notice to which they could say it is on no concern to him as they could hold any document, newspaper of any other such item as is their right. And if the signs were of such a disturbance to Johnson then could deal with the issue himself by not lying in his replies to questions and statements to the chamber.

At the very least it might bring about a debate in the chamber about the level of dishonesty from the government's front bench.

Sunny Clouds:
It might work.

What I think couldalso be used if very carefully is the second part of a formula attributed to multiple politicians for the last century or so...

"Half the members of the government/opposition are [derogatory term]"
Speaker asks MP to retract
"Half the members of the government/opposition are not [derogatory term]"

The second half can be used without the first half.  This sort of thing, but refined by people who know what they can get away with.

"The prime minister has told the truth in parliament several times this year."
"Could the prime minister confirm that cabinet members have allocated several contracts to people who were not their close friends or relatives."

Sunny you've sort of reminded me of a question asked of a wife beater regarding their beating of their wife, it sort of goes, "Are you still denying you beat your wife?"  I might be getting the question a bit mixed up but it was something along that line and in effect left the person being asked the question looking like they were a wife beater.

Another thought you had me thinking, perhaps influence by my recently watching the full series of the BBC's 'Secret Army'  a series telling the story of the Belgian escape lines for allied airmen during the Second World War, in episodes where the communist resistance fighters had killed a German soldier the Gestapo ordered 20 randomly selected Belgians be shot/executed well if the speaker of the house ordered that if the PM of the day had either lied or otherwise mislead parliament 20 of the party of government would be suspended till  such times as the misleading minister or in Johnson's likely case outright lie would be suspended for 4 days/weeks and any failure to rectify things would see further groups of the offending party's MPs suspended. The MPs to be suspended would be selected randomly, perhaps picked from a hat like the draw for a football competition.

I expect that suggestion would be fairly difficult to set up but were it to be I feel it would very quickly see the government sharpen up its focus providing factual accurate answers to any and all questions put to it.

Maybe I'm just being daft :f_laugh:

Sunny Clouds:
Not so much daft as wistful.

As I see it, the big problem with trying to improve parliament is that you have to get parliament to approve it unless you have a revolution.

The problem with revolutions is that whilst they tend to start as a fightback against things like oppression and unfairness, you need some very, very strong leadership to succeed and I find it difficult to see how someone could have both the characteristics needed to lead a successful revolution and the inclination to make parliament fairer. 

I don't say it's impossible, just that I struggle to think of an example.

I suppose if you're lucky, whoever leads the revolution gets some nice people in power with them, then drops dead leaving them to devise a better parliamentary system.

Or maybe you get so many parties arguing that they settle on a compromise that each of them thinks will stop the others getting too much power. I think that's how a lot of FPTP systems arise, and I'm guessing that would also be a situation in which decent rules for behaviour in parliament would arise.

I say all that as someone who, if you ask me which party I vote for in elections, will say, honestly, that I'm a 'least worst' voter.  Mostly, the candidate I'd like to vote for doesn't stand a chance anyway, so it's between worst and less worse.

I think it still says a lot about Westminster that the Commons is two mobs, er, rows of elected members, facing each other in a room designed to keep them more than two sword lengths apart during debate.

Oh no, I've flipped now.  I'm mentally visualising MPs with pea-shooters, water pistols and children's catapults.  Well, Dennis the Menace and the like have nothing on them.


--- Quote ---I'm mentally visualising MPs with pea-shooters, water pistols and children's catapults.

--- End quote ---

Don't put that idea in their heads. Their behaviour is infantile enough without encouragement.


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