Parliamentary behaviour is deteriorating. I listened to Prime Minister's Questions earlier today (in the company of Alun Ffred Jones and Adrian Masters) from the comfort of the BBC studio couch on the 4th floor. Our role was to discuss the content of PMQs. Today, Mr John Prescott was standing in for the Prime Minister. William Hague came up with a brilliant ploy to confound poor old Prezza. He asked him questions about foreign policy and pensions which required a modicum of intelligence to answer. Our Deputy Prime Minister was completely snookered. In the end he did what any third rate comedian does and started playing for cheap laughs by swearing. He called the Tories 'Tossers'and the House roared with laughter. Prezza didn't realise that it was directed mostly at him. I haven't seen PMQs for a while and I hadn't realised how far downhill the Labour leadership has slipped.
The Assembly does not like to be outdone and Mick Bates has been on hand to carry the banner for unparliamentary behaviour. In yesterday's Plenary Session he gave someone 'The Finger'. Now, we don't know who it was aimed at but it happened immediately after the Llywydd had snapped out "Order" to the 'unruly' Rhodri Glyn Thomas. Unfortunately for Mick, some enterprising soul videoed it and put it on the internet. Mick's excuse was priceless. Apparantly he was showing Rhodri Glyn which finger he should use to press the voting buttons in the Chamber. Its a good job there aren't two buttons to press at the same time.
And then, (and believe this or believe it not) Mick stood up to speak about 'sh***s'. At least this was an accident. He had meant to say 'sites'. Now this was really rather funny and when I read 'annonomous's' comments on one of my previous posts, I lost control. I haven't been as amused by a slip of the tongue since the great Peter Rogers, wlth the volume pumped up to max. referred to "The Green Willy Brigade" in the middle of an attack on what he saw as over enthusiastic environmentalists. And I was trying to concentrate on serious statements from Carwyn Jones about telecommunications masts and the Marine Bill. An AMs life is varied.