Thursday 6 December 2018 by Arabin Patson

Westminster shows its power by doing absolutely nothing to the people they find in contempt


contempt of parliament

Parliament has drawn a clear line in the sand yesterday by making sure ministers know that any attempt to disobey an order from the House of Commons would result in an immediate and utterly toothless request to do what they asked in the first place.

In a historic moment, not one minister lost their job or suffered any kind of professional consequences for ignoring the explicit instructions of MPs.

Tourist Kieron Tinnock, on a day trip from Leicester, admitted that he found it somewhat difficult to understand what the fuss was about.

He said, “It was all over the telly and loads of pundits were getting excited about how it was the first government ever to be found in contempt of Parliament. It might seem naïve, but I thought they would impose some sort of sanction. To be frank I was sort of hoping that it would be some weird old punishment like a ducking stool or a day in the stocks. That would make a lovely souvenir picture.”

However, Simon Williams, political editor of The Times, was adamant the vote would have a huge impact on politicians.

He went on, “Of course the layman might think it was just a bit of pointless political theatre designed to hide the fact our entire political system is held together by nothing more than inertia and tradition. Or that it could collapse terrifyingly quickly if just one person decided to test it.

“But remember that, for the ministers involved, being held in contempt is a hugely shameful experience. And if the past few years have taught us anything, is that you can always rely on a Tory politician’s sense of honour.”

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