Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Order and disorder

The BBC News website asks today if the public really does dislike it when our MPs get raucous and rowdy in the Commons or if we in fact relish a good dust-up between the parties, whether it be over personaity or policy.

There's no argument that the passion and energy we witness from Messrs Cameron and Miliband and their ilk as they do battle can be inspiring at times, but there is a clear line which is crossed from time to time when more personal insults or patronising comments get bandied about. Dennis Skinner's down-to-earth ripostes to attacks on his age and politics are the stuff of legend, making this long-serving MP an unlikely hero for some. 

The media respond to such moments celebrating and reporting them in elaborate fashion- and this often paints a portrait of MPs as shouting, jeering, downright unpleasant little monkeys whose behaviour is an embarrassment. Rarely do we read a story of a particularly heated or charged exchange and think "Good for them. I wouldn't have stood for that either."

But do we love or loathe our MPs when they get their collective underwear in a twist? From the BBC report, it's clear that the jury's out.

In the light of the above, what I'd like to ask today is this: how do you conduct yourself in a difficult meeting? If disagreement takes hold, do you handle it in a manner that wouldn't embarrass you or the business if an outsider was watching?

Wen it comes to debate, are you a volatile Cameron, a keep 'em on track Bercow or a straight-talking Skinner?

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