Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

So What's So Wrong about Trapping Parliament in an Age of Great Courtesy and Courtliness? Veteran Parliamentary Reporter CHRIS MONCRIEFF Fears the Practices That Made the House Such a Special Place Are Being Whittled Away

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

So What's So Wrong about Trapping Parliament in an Age of Great Courtesy and Courtliness? Veteran Parliamentary Reporter CHRIS MONCRIEFF Fears the Practices That Made the House Such a Special Place Are Being Whittled Away

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRIS MONCRIEFF

CALL me an old fuddy-duddy if you wish (and plenty do), but I do not share the zeal of those who seem hell-bent on dragging the House of Commons into the 21st century. Indeed, I would like to see someone put the brakes on the Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake who appears to be the leading "moderniser" at Westminster.

Brake has already succeeded in achieving for MPs the "concession" that they need not wear ties in the Chamber. Now, he seems to have set his sights on abolishing the historical practice whereby MPs are referred to by their constituencies and not by their names.

Apparently those of like mind feel that the Commons is stuck in the 18th century and should be brought up to date.

But all the myriad of traditions at Westminster, which they regard as mumbo-jumbo and would like to see abolished, are in fact daily reminders of the glorious history of Parliament.

But now there is a worrying chipping away of these traditions, contributed to, to his shame, by the Speaker John Bercow, who refuses to wear the traditional centuries-old Speaker's garb. …

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