British House of Commons Prime Minister's Questions

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by rustyshakelford, Jul 14, 2003.

  1. rustyshakelford


    Jul 9, 2002
    Esteemed Colleagues,

    Does anyone else watch this show?

    In the US, one of the cable channels broadcasts this program.

    I have several questions:

    - Why do some MP's stand while the other asks a question?

    - Who determines who gets to ask a question?

    - What is that big book Tony Blair has in his lap? He never seems to refer to it.

    Thank you.

  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I thinnk this tells you a lot about the British people - i.e. they like a good argument in public, with as much mud-slinging as possible and their favoured weapon is sarcasm!! ;)

    In answer to your questions - I think they are trying to attract the attention of the speaker or have just got carried away in the excitement.

    There is a schedule of questions, but I think the speaker can get more in if it finishes ahead of time.

    I always though that Tony Blair had his briefings from ministers, civil servants, spin doctors in front of him - he does refer occasionally and has bookmarks to facts that he checks - he has to put his glasses on for this!!

    But it is considered very bad form to read things out in these sessions - except to quote somebody else or statistics - so the speakers are expected to talk without notes and improvise - although a lot of their jokes are obviously pre-written - it would seen as weakness to admit this!!

    So - if anybody does this the opposing party will shout out - "He's Reading" or something scathing like that!! ;)