It was quite interesting the other day to watch The House of Lords commence their early debates on Brexit, a most sedate and honourable debate (no pun intended).
In contrast to the ravings of the House of Commons, and the unrivalled interjections by The Speaker who, in the views of many, wallowed in giving encouragement to the cries on social media about President Trump.
Others, remarked one MP on the Conservative benches, showed a lack of loyalty to their Leader and as if all that is not enough, a Labour Leader who has no respect from a huge number of his MPs, Whips and front bench Shadow Ministers, then one is left wondering where the moral compass is in Parliament and what example this gives to the young.
Jeremy Corbyn sends stern letters and warnings to his Opposition MPs who dissent against his rulings, but all seems to be forgiven or musical chairs is sufficient for his purposes like a recycle of clothes in a washing machine.
It is unfortunate that at any earlier time in political history, Mrs May would have been praised for getting Britain to the front of the political trade queue in America, (contrary to the threats of the former President of the US), and for enabling an invitation to be extended on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen regarding a State Visit to President Trump, which was also accepted.
Mrs May secured a commitment in principle regarding America’s ongoing involvement and support in NATO – she even encouraged countries to take up their fair share of that financial burden regarding monies towards each Country’s defence budget in contribution to the whole.
The Prime Minister proceeded to a successful visit to Turkey, meeting their Leader and securing an important trade deal. Instead of gratitude, she has to pay the price for what President Trump has done regarding travel restrictions to America.
When President Obama poked his nose into Brexit we in the UK were not amused. What America does is up to the American people and their President.
Granted the issues of dual Nationals and Families in different Countries had to be sorted out but there are as many people in the UK who agreed with President Trump as there are those who disagreed with his action, perhaps even more if a vote were taken. The difference is they do not take to social media and many are too frightened to go against the crowd. Such fear inverts democracy!
These issues have to be resolved politically but to be frank, I hear comments such as “if I were the President I would refuse to visit Great Britain now”.
America is our major ally.
For Mr Bercow to choose this particular issue to ‘kick off’ about as the saying goes, is a little unusual in some ways, not just in respect of this particular issue, but the timing for his outburst in Parliament. Why now, and why this issue as there must have been other debates and subject matter regarding which he had personal convictions yet did not utter a word.
There are those who thought he lost control of the House of Commons during the Brexit debates.
Watching The House of Lords was so refreshing in contrast as their initial priority, even before expressing their political viewpoint, was to show respect in addressing each Noble Lord for either their remark or question. They continued with phraseology which was both eloquent and sedate, well crafted, voices were calm in tone, and if there was a question raised it was done so in terms of polite enquiry.
Mr Bercow, it is being said, has given a bad example as to what respect means in all its forms.
Many are suggesting it is time for him to quit The Speaker’s Chair. If he does (though I do not think he will), then whoever might succeed him, it is hoped a more ‘old school’ set of values will be restored within The House of Commons and that Mr Corbyn, likewise, teaches his MPs to use intellect, not youthful tantrums when they stand to speak. They should also decide if they are willing to speak as a Party when so called, as if not, Labour have no hope of forming a Government for decades, if ever.
If they cannot control themselves then what a mess they would make if they were leading this Country. If an Opposition has to spout sarcasm rather than their own policies then all is not well.
Labour should look back to its finer times (before Mrs Thatcher’s reign), when voters respected the ethos of what they stood for. Post Mrs Thatcher in the Blair years he hedged his bets not wishing to lose the Thatcherite City supporters, the businessmen, but at the cost of the traditional Labour voter who were out-stretching their hands to him as he made his way to Downing Street, but he betrayed them and their trust thus disenfranchising the traditional Labour voters. Many of those are now staunch Ukip Voters.
Mrs Thatcher was more pro Euro than pro Commonwealth but now, at last, we are hearing that Commonwealth Passport holders will be fast-tracked at Customs instead of having to queue up whilst Europeans have priority. I hope the Commonwealth will forgive Britain for the years they were shunned. Few spoke out about that.
There remain those who are scared to leave Europe – how did we become ‘Great Britain’ – who held our hand then?
Nobody knows what Labour stand for these days nor who they stand for. Instead of trying to trip up the Government, Labour should be presenting bright and inspiring new ideas of their own. Though if they continue with Mr Corbyn as Leader, who is against Trident, then few people will vote for Labour on that one issue alone.
I never thought I would say this, but the Conservative Party under the Leadership of Mrs May is progressing on course because they are doing the Will of the people over Brexit. They also ‘sense the mood’ on most occasions and act as if they do.
Mr Bercow and Mr Corbyn have just spent their energies in trying to undermine The Prime Minister which in turn will annoy the voters at large.
What is the moral compass of Parliament as a model for the youth of today who watch debates?
Mrs May knows she has to represent such a characteristic in respect of herself and her Party, which is why she remains unbeatable and could very well be re-elected. Just for the record I am not a Conservative, have never voted for that Party and never will as I remain a ‘Robin Hood’ supporter in my political beliefs – metaphorically speaking of course.
If Mr Corbyn had The Prime Minister’s zeal and political convictions in regard to his own philosophies, but realising that unilateral disarmament will never get him elected, and if he sorted out his MPs, showing how politics used to be debated with respect and decorum, and ought to continue in such a manner, he might have a chance in Government; but then again, who would trust him as Leader – perhaps his stance over Trident automatically rules him out permanently and his loss of control now in recent debates with Whips, Ministers and Party MPs pulling the rug from under him.
Mr Bercow and Mr Corbyn should both face the reality of what is the common view and do what is best for Parliament and representing the people, all of the people, not just their followers.
Photo (c) Hazel Speed – used by kind permision to Tuck Magazine