For anyone outside the UK confused with what the Hell is going on with Brexit, don’t worry. Our Tory government has absolutely no idea either. At least John Bercow is around to keep things in order.
For you see, as the Speaker of the House of Commons, it’s his job to yell “Order!” at MPs as they continue to drive the country into ruin. So, are you ready to order? Let’s serve up a lesson in British politics.
Despite what you may think from the above clip, the Speaker’s job isn’t to just yell “Order!” or make witty asides whilst everyone else jeers.
The idea is Bercow presides over the chamber of Parliament. He determines who may speak.
Bercow also has the power to punish anyone who breaks the rules (not as brutal as it sounds, naughty MPs are usually sent packing outside). But his main battle is to (of course) maintain ordeeeeeer!
Bercow has had the position since June 2009 and is set to retire this summer, but his antics during many, many heated Brexit debates have made him something of a minor celebrity.
The kind of absolute scenes that helped BBC Parliament briefly eclipse MTV in the TV ratings pic.twitter.com/N4cH0VUnKl
— The Guardian (@guardian) February 7, 2019
The BBC Parliament channel was winning some incredible viewing figures – as The Guardian confirms above – due to the disaster that Brexit has become.
But will standing around yelling “Order!” make the Tories solve this disastrous mess? Probably not. But there are always other options to consider.
British politics is a weird thing. Not that we’re saying the rest of the world has much order, but the power struggle between the two main parties – Conservatives and Labour – rages on and on.
Historically, the Tories ran the show (or shitshow) for most of the 20th century. Thatcher was Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990 (good… God!) – things really have been that bad in Blighty, yes.
Then Labour had a stab – and a punch – from 1997 to 2010. And in 2001 Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott decided to punch a man in the face.
But that was in response to a mullet-sporting man egging him. And that’s something of a noble polemical tradition in England – dislike an MP’s political stance? Egg the bastard!
Not that it’s a tradition born in England. In fact, way back in AD63 Roman governor Vespian suffered great ignominy – turnips were hurled at him due to his oppressive policies.
But if you’re a politician in modern-day Britain, you’ve got to expect it at some point. Brush it off and move on… or punch the perpetrator in the face. Up to you, really.
And if you’re a political activist, here’s something to remember. Whilst it all may seem rather noble you should remember that by lugging an egg at someone, that’s still vandalism.
Additionally, some legal systems will consider it an act of assault or battery if the egg damages the victim’s eyes (although a dented ego won’t be enough to land you in jail).
Regardless, if you want to make your point you can do the egging thing. Or you can sit behind your keyboard having flame wars online. But you can always head out into the street and call people you meet a “fuddy-duddy”.
Whatever you do, John Bercow won’t be far behind you roaring “Order!” into your conscience.