“I may sound strangely medieval..”

Do our local MPs fully comprehend the implications of this particular controversy?The benchmark for Mr Speaker..

In January 1642, Charles, accompanied by over 300 swordsmen, entered St Stephen’s in a foolhardy attempt to arrest five of his principal opponents in the Commons on a charge of treason. The members, however, had been warned of Charles’s intention and escaped.

When asked where the members could be found, the Speaker, William Lenthall, fell to his knees before the King and said:

“May it please Your Majesty, I have neither eyes to see, nor tongue to speak in this place, but as the House is pleased to direct me, whose servant I am here, and I humbly beg Your Majesty’s pardon that I cannot give any other answer than this to your Majesty is pleased to demand of me.”

More on Mr Speaker William Lenthall.

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  • Harry Flashman

    The manner of Green’s arrest is truly appalling, and before anyone starts saying it’s “only because he’s an MP” that he’s attracting so much attention well they need to understand the fundamental breach of constitutional democratic rules that has just taken place.

    The last time the government pulled this stunt the guy that tried it ended up having his head removed from his shoulders by the Parliament.

    Anyone who isn’t outraged by this issue a) doesn’t really care about parliamentary democracy and deserves to be ruled by an unelected dictatorship or b) doesn’t understand what has happened.

    I suppose it should come as no surprise that a government made up of former Trotskyites should finally show their true colours after nearly twelve years of untrammelled power but it is still shocking when you see it actually happen. That Gorbals Mick should have the effrontery to dare occupy the seat of Speaker Lenthall says all you need to know about the debased nature of politics in Britain today.

  • Mick Fealty

    The Gorbals Mick tag seems to have stuck, but he’s not from the Gorbals. It’s a precise analogue tot that ridiculous class war schtick that Labour used in Crewe and Nantwich.

    He’s as entitled to take the seat as any man or woman. But his actions have come a long way short of Lenthall’s. And therefore he should go. But not before being made to explain why he did it.

  • Harry Flashman

    No Mick I disagree, the “Gorbals” bit refers not to his class (some of the finest speakers in recent times were ex miners or showgirls for heaven’s sake) but to his attitude; that of Glasgow Labour where corruption, nepotism and a disregard for the fundamental principles of Parliamentary democracy are regarded as commonplace.

    Michael Martin has been a disgrace to his position for years, he has dragged one of the highest and most honourable posts in the entire nation down into the muck. He has truly surpassed himself on this occasion, the man is a clown and a knave, he deserves all the obloquy that it is possible to dump on him, if he weren’t so utterly without shame he would have resigned by now.

    It is by his actions that I judge the man not his background (which is very similar to a huge number of my own family members).

  • cynci

    Perhaps we can soon expect to see Labour MPs adopting uniform. Some nice brown shirts offset by a colourful armband might be thought to look classy. And didn’t I hear that the PM has just taken delivery of a huge German made armoured car?

    But let’s be positive. There may be economic benefits for NI in all this. The Salt Mines at Carrickfergus will be a great place to house all those political prisoners.

  • TOT

    With Harriet Harman (attempting to)engaging the WI as a network of informers,use of counter terrorism laws to government ends unconnected with “terror”, the sanctity of parliament being breached. A dark time for democracy. Mr Martin has politicised the Speakers position and can be seen to be effectively aiding and abetting the underming of parliamentry power.

  • Wilde Rover

    It is worth noting that Tony Benn felt the need to preface his statement with “I may sound strangely medieval.”

    I wonder does this living legend hold such a low opinion of society in general that he feels he has to couch something that would seem to be blatantly obvious in such terms?

    Does he think that most people are so dull, distracted, apathetic or fatalistic?

    Is it not like saying “I’m sorry to be such a terrible bore, but the building is on fire.”?

    But maybe he is just tired of watching them send cows across the river, and the fish not biting.

    He must understand, more than most, that this is just another cow, and that sooner or later they will cross over to the other side.

  • Big Maggie

    Richard Littlejohn over in the Daily Mail reflects my thoughts exactly.

  • Greenflag

    PB,

    ‘Do our local MPs fully comprehend the implications of this particular controversy? ‘

    Probably not but then neither did their predecessors .

    What’s new? Compare and contrast the following .

    2008 AD:

    They (British Labour Party ) have become so accustomed to living in a virtual one-party state since 1997, that any counter-argument or even the mildest of criticism is treated not merely as legitimate dissent, but as an act of treason.

    1972 AD

    ‘They (Ulster Unionist Party ) have become so accustomed to living in a virtual one-party state since 1920 , that any counter-argument or even the mildest of criticism is treated not merely as legitimate dissent, but as an act of treason.’

    But will the English rise up and free themselves from the Scottish tyrants? Perhaps Mr Cameron should consult with Sinn Fein and the SDLP and discuss with them the perils of taking to the streets and where that might lead .

    Been a while since Britain had a civil war anyway . Helps to clear the air and gets rid of a lot of bad people 😉

    cynic ,

    ‘The Salt Mines at Carrickfergus will be a great place to house all those political prisoners. ‘

    We don’t want any Tories in Ireland. Not even in putative salt mines or at the bottom of peat bogs . Mind you the latter sounds appropriate given the record of the British Tories in Ireland over the past century or more

  • Harry Flashman

    “It is worth noting that Tony Benn felt the need to preface his statement with “I may sound strangely medieval.” ”

    I too thought this was one of the saddest aspects of this scandal; that a statesman like Tony Benn (whose politics I would disagree with 98% of the time but who like Tam Dalyel and Enoch Powell fully understood what underpinned the British Constitution), should almost have to apologise to the XBox generation before explaining why these fuddy duddy old rules actually were of utmost importance to our freedoms and liberties and why this is a bloody awful infringement of our civil liberties, is an indictment of the woeful state of political awareness in this country today.

  • The Raven

    “over the past century or more”

    Am I the only person under the age of 40 on this site, who is really getting tired of this sort of thing..?

    I keep waiting for someone to burst into song about “leaving for Califor-nye-aaaaa cos the Crown stole me land and shot me dog…”

    Apologies for the O/T bit.

  • Jimmy Sands

    Just out of curiousity, how many of our neo-roundhead posters were equally outraged at the raid on SF offices at Stormont a couple of years back? Either you’re allowed to spy on your political opponents or you aren’t.

  • frustrated democrat

    Greenflag

    It is too late, the Tories are here and very active so whoever you speak for will just have to accept it!

  • Greenflag

    frustrated democrat ,

    ‘It is too late, the Tories are here and very active’

    No good will come of it . Neither for the Tories and least of all for the UUP. They are of course entitled to participate in the democratic process so they can channel funds to the virtually bankrupt UUP so they can make a contest out of couple of Westminster seats .

    Seems a lot of fuss for just one MP particularly when the lady herself is less than enthusiastic .

    ‘so whoever you speak for ‘

    Nobody apart from myself but I would think that the previous electoral results for Tory entry into NI’s Westminster elections will be repeated .

    Even worse for the DUP/UUP – SF may slip between the battle of the dinosaurs to emerge as the leading rodent for the new age of mammalian political ascendancy in NI .

    Que sera !

  • Greenflag

    jimmy sands ,

    ‘Just out of curiousity, how many of our neo-roundhead posters were equally outraged at the raid on SF offices at Stormont a couple of years back?’

    Why do you ask awkward questions which call into question the righteousness of the men of the law and HMG’s placemen in NI ? Are you suggesting they may have been in error ? Well even if they have they have earned more than a tidy sum at the expense of the English taxpayer who continues to fork out for the process.

    BTW the answer to your question is negative 41 🙁

  • Jimmy Sands

    Greenflag,

    I’m not suggesting any error at all. Politicians are not above the law and I do not believe their premises should enjoy any protection from search that is not afforded equally to the ordinary citizen. These melodramatic English Civil War analogies are preposterous.

  • cynic

    “Either you’re allowed to spy on your political opponents or you aren’t.”

    Does spying on your “political” opponents include stealing the names and addresses of thousands of prison officers?

  • Jimmy Sands

    iirc that material came from Castlereagh.

  • The Raven

    Getting back on topic though, PMQs should be interesting this week!

  • Comrade Stalin

    It is too late, the Tories are here and very active so whoever you speak for will just have to accept it!

    Indeed, they’ve been here for around 15 years or more and have been very active at losing elections.