Time for reform?

Shouting, jeering, jostling, cheering, booing. Behaving like a crowd of drunken football fans.

A football match?


The House of Commons?

Um, yes.

Unfortunately Prime Minister's Questions are becoming ever more painful to watch. In a bad way. I appreciate it has always been pantomime-esque but I don't really understand how we are meant to respect the people who we voted for when they behave like this.
An example would be that of Anne Marie Morris who stood up in parliament last week and let rip with this:

I have to admit that if I were one of her constituents then I would be embarrassed. Both by Ms Morris' behaviour at trying to make herself heard and by the behaviour of the other MPs jeering and laughing at her. I am sure Ms Morris had a very valuable point but why did she feel that was the right way to make it heard?

Is it any wonder why participation in politics is falling? Would you vote for someone to shout and screech their way to being heard. Do you really want the person you have voted to represent your views behaving like this? The pantomime is becoming farcical.

The first thing which sprang to my mind when I saw this was Delia, yes Delia, behaving in a similar fashion whilst a little worse for wear at a football match.

I am a football fan and I am sure that I have quite possibly behaved like this in the past (luckily not with a TV camera in front of me and a microphone). However, whilst embarrassing for Delia, in my mind it is far more acceptable to shout and jeer like this at a football match than in the House of Commons.

The baiting, churlish, childlike behaviour between the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition is cringeworthy. Indeed, sometimes I feel that I cannot watch. I find myself shouting at the TV which is surely not the point at all.

If you went into a meeting and made your point, you would not expect to be shouted or laughed at by the other people in the room. This is not how people deal with business on a daily basis so why should it be the way our politicians deal with incredibly important matters?

As someone who is interested in politics, who cares about politics and who is considering a career in politics, I want to see considerable reform implemented. I want my MP to be someone whom I respect and admire, whether or not I voted for them. I want to be able to go to them be heard. I don't want them to then go to the House of Commons to raise my point and behave like a drunken football fan. Where is the respect in that?

Politics should be accessible, representative, equal and fair. It should encourage people to participate. Most of all, it should be inclusive. We should all feel that our issues can be heard. I appreciate that what happens in Prime Minister's Questions is not how the majority of politics is 'done'. That happens in the committees and meetings. But Prime Minister's Questions is, however, the face of politics that most people see. Is it not time for that face to change?