Questions to the Prime Minister
Mx. Speaker (Jo Bercow) (Buckingham)
Questions to the Prime Minister.
Question number one, Mx. me.
The Prime Minister (James Krall) (Dunny-on-the-Wold) (Lab)
Thank you, Mx. Speaker. This morning I had meetings with ministerial colleagues and others. In addition to my duties in the House, I shall have further such meetings later today.
Dafydd Llwyd (Wales) (Con)
In raising this issue, Mx. Speaker, I speak not only for myself but for the range of controversial political figures that have been targeted by the popular milkshake-throwing trend in recent times. We have seen endorsements of these acts of immaturity and blatant assault from figures in both parties currently in power. Will the Prime Minister condemn the substitution of mature, reasonable debate and political discourse in this country with assault, no matter how trivial the projectile?
The Prime Minister
I must express my deep concerns over the recent violent and creamy attack on the Leader of the Opposition. I understand that the damage done may have amount to as much as several whole pounds, necessary to have his suit dry cleaned afterwards. This sudden shift in political discourse is incredibly damaging to political dialogue in this country, robbing politicians of their right to talk over and ignore people’s concerns and instead allowing them to take direct action as a form of protest. What’s more it is terrifying to think how this tactic might evolve - today they throw milkshakes, but what will they throw tomorrow? Bombs? Guns? Guns that shoot bombs that explode into smaller guns? We can only shudder in fear at the danger these lactose-toting monsters present.
I hope my counterpart opposite will join me in calls for a national day of mourning, including a two minute sticking-fingers-in-our-ears-and-going-“la la I’m not listening”, to show these milky bandits that no amount of dairy-based inconvenience will ever get a politician to listen when they don’t want to!
Victoria Ames (London) (Con)
Mx. Speaker, I condemn the Prime Minister for supporting the physical assault of members of the opposition party. How can one condone such authoritarian tactics and rhetoric? What is our country coming to that this is considered permissible conduct by the leader of government? If this is what out future looks like, I can only hope we remain one nation.
The Prime Minister
Mx. Speaker, obviously I do not condone assault taken against anyone, but I also cannot condone fearmongering against a protest tactic that is ultimately harmless, especially compared to the harm and fear caused by the speech and actions of those in positions of power. The public right to protest is fundamental to healthy public debate in a democracy, and it is only through recognising and protecting this right that we can maintain the British people's hope for our future.
Mx. Speaker, the public does have a right to protest, but it does not have the right to assault. Moreover, the Prime Minister speaks about those in “positions of power”, but he holds a level of power few wield in this country. What does his cavalier attitude toward the harassment of the opposition party say about the safety of opposition voters to show up to the polls and for their members of parliament to have a voice in the Commons? His dismissal of the threat of political violence is a bloody stain upon his record and upon our chamber.
The Prime Minister
Mx. Speaker this is “slippery slope” fearmongering. Protestors independently yeeting milkshakes at public political figures is not going to lead to systematic, violent voter supression. I simply believe that politicians, especially those in high office such as myself, should not be coddled from people's opinions but should face their criticism and protest willingly and regularly, no matter what form that takes.
I would like to suggest to the Prime Minister that if assault is to become an acceptable and widespread form of public protest, many may not take as kindly to it as I have. It is easy to see how a stray milkshake in a passionate crowd of protesters and counter-protesters could quickly turn into an outright brawl — not a very agreeable method of conducting national politics.
Nicky Clack (South of England) (LD)
May I suggest as a compromise, Mx. Speaker, that there be a differentiation between milkshakes for drinking and milkshakes for, as the Prime Minister says, eating? Perhaps the latter could be more solid so as to be eaten with a fork. Then again, we are not the Culinary Institute of Britain, so surely we should leave this up to a more proper authority on this matter. [Sits down, sips milkshake]
Mx. Speaker, after the day’s proceedings are over, I would be delighted to introduce to the Deputy Leader of the Opposition the concept of ice cream.
I am concerned at this implication that the Leader of the Opposition eats ice cream with a fork.
[From a sedentary position] Shut—