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Wednesday, 14 January 2009

image for Cameron Calls for Commons Reform

In an unprecedented statement, Opposition Leader David Cameron has described the workings of the House of Commons as "archaic" and called for urgent reform.

Addressing the Batley Townswomens' Guild, Mr Cameron said that in these difficult times, it was time to bring an end to 'Punch and Judy politics', and offered his vision of a new Parliamentary system.

"The fact is, the Parliamentary system is archaic and fails to engage", Mr Cameron said. "We need to get away from the 'Punch and Judy' politics of the past. Having seen 'Dick Whittington' the other day, I am therefore calling for the urgent reform of the Commons to adopt Pantomime procedures."

"The Opposition would be required to have a good-looking girl, dressed as a boy, as their Leader. Lord Mandelson can be King Rat - that shouldn't be too difficult - and the Lib-Dem Leader can be Buttons. "Gordon Brown can play the Dame - that might also improve the way he dresses, which would be a bonus."

Mr Cameron added, "the introduction of 'Pantomime Politics' will also allow backbenchers greater engagement in the debate process. No longer will they be reduced simply to mumbling 'Hear, Hear' at pronouncements - instead, if a Government Minister says something is happening, backbenchers can shout 'Oh No It Isn't!!', with the Government retort of 'Oh Yes It Is!!' clearly leading to extended debates - though I concede that they may be limited in depth."

The Lobby system would also be scrapped under the Opposition proposals, with the Speaker deciding the outcome of votes based on which side of the House had shouted the loudest.

The Minister for Justics, Jack Straw, said that Mr Cameron's proposals had merit, as long as he could play Baron Hardup.

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