Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Passion around the corridors of power

These last two weeks in Parliament have been interesting ones as well as tiring (sitting into the wee small hours on 3 nights) as the Lisbon Treaty and the fate of Northern Rock have concentrated the minds of our elected representatives.

But two particular outbursts of passion have got me thinking in the last two days. Yesterday I was in the Chamber when the Liberal Democrat members staged a protest about the fact that proposed amendments from them had not been chosen for discussion. They believed that many British citizens shared their desire for these issues to be considered. They came into the chamber en masse and caused considerable disruption raising points of order before one of their number was ordered to withdraw by the Speaker and they all marched out in protest. Whilst at the time I was mainly concerned about whether the Serjeant at Arms in the Chamber would be asked to take action, I wondered later what the things are that I would be prepared to take action about. That thought was back with me today as five protestors were arrested after getting on to the roof of the House of Commons (not to be recommended) to protest against the expansion of Heathrow airport. What are the causes that make you want to protest and what is the best way of doing that? Food for thought.

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