WHEN Jeremy Corbyn became the surprise leader of the Labour Party in 2015 he promised a ‘different kind of Prime Minister’s Questions’ with ‘less braying and shouting’.
But that was scarcely in evidence last week as Corbyn and British Prime Minister Theresa May took part in a hot tempered verbal exchange, mostly over the treatment of the ‘Windrush’ generation.
Sardonic Speaker of the House John Berkow twice got to his feet during Corbyn’s second question referring to ‘very noisy and extremely stupid barracking’ and barked ‘the public absolutely despise that kind of behaviour from whatever part of the house it takes place. Cut it out and grow up!’
Needless to say volume levels continued to be very high from MPs from both sides of the House as Corbyn accused May of running a ‘callous and incompetent Government’ and the Prime Minister repeated recent accusations of Corbyn failing to deal with ‘antisemitism’ in Labour’s ranks.
But are MPs letting down the general public with their boorish behaviour when being paid to represent us in Parliament?
Or perhaps they are merely mirroring the ‘dualistic’ society that most folk blindly put up with every day of their lives.
It’s Arsenal or Tottenham, Remain or Leave, Royalist or Republican, Socialist or Tory…. and so the list goes on and on.
It seems that whenever we attach ourselves to one cause, we automatically stand opposed to another.
Little wonder that in the chamber where ‘democracy’ is most publicly played out and MPs sit on opposite sides according to their labels, there is so little common ground.
Ultimately, the root is the way we view ourselves as human beings.
Instead of berating the protagonists and prolonging the arguments, we need to hold a mirror to our own souls.
For, whilst we regard ourselves as different and separate from each other, dualism will continue to exist.
The Parliamentary system, for better and for worse, rumbles on because we, as a society, allow it to happen. Whilst we cast our votes, the system continues to churn out what we subconsciously demand.
When individuals wake up to the reality that we are part of one whole and therefore part of each other, ‘labels’ become irrelevant.
Young and old, male and female, white and black, heterosexual and homosexual, British and Russian makes little or no difference.
Would you go to war with yourself?
Surely you would treat yourself with much more respect than is witnessed in Parliament daily?
The answer, as always, lies not in law changes but in a raising of consciousness.
There will be a different kind of Prime Minister’s Questions – one hopes there will eventually be no need for it at all.
That’s for the future.
But, first, progress must come from ourselves.