How I would reform PMQs

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016 05:07 pm
miss_s_b: (Politics: Democracy)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Wednesdays always make me really depressed about politics. The unedifying spectacle of PMQs, and the journos frantically fapping about who "won" and "lost" when it's plain for everyone to see that everybody loses from this example of Westminster theatre. A parade of non-questions not-answered with added shouting and wankery... The entire British public and most non-Westminster politicians view PMQs as the horrific embarrassment it is. Some journos and Westminster politicians are dimly aware of this, but none of them seriously tries to do anything about it, Bercow's occasional chidings of the chamber aside.

Political gameplaying can maybe, sometimes, be justified as a means to an end (and I'd debate that most of the time). Political gameplaying to be enjoyed as an end in itself, for the entirety of PMQs, week after week, for entire parliaments? That's not democratic accountability, that's just being 650 arseholes shouting.

Luckily for them all, I am here to offer my unsolicited opinions like a sealioning mediocre cis white man. PMQs should be reformed in the following ways:
  1. If the PM doesn't give a proper answer to a question, the speaker should pull him up on it and not let him leave untill he has given a proper answer, even if it's "I don't know".

  2. Any shouty arseholes get thrown out of the chamber. Yes, even Cameron. The more shouty and arseholey they are the longer the sanction - several days of not being allowed to vote would soon stop this happening.

  3. Interventions should be taken by the speaker, so that lack of shouty arseholeness doesn't mean lack of challenge to lies at the despatch box. He's supposed to be chairing anyway. Chair properly, Bercow.
Now, that's probably not going to be a panacea, but it's a start.

Date: Wednesday, May 11th, 2016 06:37 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] sassy_scot
Awww, Jennie, can't we have a Bullshit Button?

I've been saying Bercow needs to start throwing people out and quit the smartarse put-downs. Alternatively, I might be prepared to allow the smartarse putdowns if he follow through.

Date: Wednesday, May 11th, 2016 07:41 pm (UTC)
pseudomonas: (Default)
From: [personal profile] pseudomonas
All questions in advance in writing, and answers to be dragged out of the PM by a select-committee-style interrogation panel.

Date: Thursday, May 12th, 2016 09:01 am (UTC)
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
From: [personal profile] rmc28
Questions in advance in writing is much better for many things.

Date: Wednesday, May 11th, 2016 09:16 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
It could have been changed (at least partly) by a Lib Dem Deputy Prime Minister when he was doing his questions. He could just have said, "we're going to do politics differently now". He didn't because he wanted to inheirit the system rather than change it.

Ultimately the reform legacy of possibly the only partly Liberal government in my lifetime is less than the 97-01 Blair government.


Date: Wednesday, May 11th, 2016 10:37 pm (UTC)
clanwilliam: (Default)
From: [personal profile] clanwilliam
I liked the Scottish model where Sturgeon tweeted about how she'd rather watch Andy Murray in a key match, and Davidson and Dugdale rocked up to her office and they all bunked off FMQs.

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