Year 3, week 10: PoliceState

This morning OldSmoothie was discussing parliamentary privilege in the clerks room and had gathered quite an audience by the time I arrived to hear him saying: “You know the punishments for a contempt of parliament can be unusual to say the least.”
“Like what?” asked HeadClerk.
“Well, take one example,” he replied. “In the seventeenth century the House of Commons sentenced a man to pay £1,000 and to stand in three different locations for two hours at a time, riding between each location backwards on a horse without a saddle while holding on to its tail.” He paused and then smiled, “Maybe we should get a friendly MP to put a motion before parliament suggesting the same punlishment against Gordon Brown or Jacqui Smith.”
“Ah, but in that ancient case the punishment was actually withdrawn.” It was HeadofChambers and he continued with, “Though the House of Lords did replace it with a harsher sentence which included branding his forehead with the letter K and life imprisonment.”
“Well I can think of a few letters which you could brand onto our glorious prime minister’s head right now,” chortled OldSmoothie pompously.

Then BusyBody piped up with her two pennorth. “But, you know, this really is serious. I mean, imagine if the police had raided the office of a judge.  There’d be uproar.”
“Yes, but judges are hardly the same as MPs,” said TheCreep joing in the debate.
“Well, there’s not such a difference particularly given that parliament’s privileges all originally come from its being the highest court in the land.” She looked like she was considering TheCreep’s point further and then added, “Anyway, surely our elected representatives should have even greater protection than judges?”

December 1, 2008 · Tim Kevan · 2 Comments
Posted in: Uncategorized

2 Responses

  1. Matthew - December 3, 2008

    Perhaps someone SHOULD keep an eye on the judges… his lordship Denning for example.

  2. DGBP - December 8, 2008

    Well Matthew, it shouldn’t be too hard to keep an eye on Lord Denning – he died 9 years ago.