As someone who came near to being an SNP MP (I came second for the selection in Kilmarnock) I have been very interested in how our 56 new members are doing at Westminster.
I must say I have been very impressed by their behaviour since they arrived, both in the early debates on the Queen’s Speech and on their appearances on the media.
I have also been impressed by their diligence in attending the debates in numbers compared with the so-called official opposition the Labour Party, who are notable by their absence even when important topics like zero-hours contracts are being debated.
Yes, the SNP were told off for applauding; no doubt they are meant to wave their order papers and shout “hear hear” like the public school culture which dominates the Commons.
However, I remember the speaker didn’t tell off MPs when they gave a standing ovation to a Tory MP who gave a strong defence of the Speaker’s role.
Finally, I just watched a very impressive maiden speech by Joanna Cherry, MP for Edinburgh South West and SNP spokesperson on justice.
She warned the Tories not to ride roughshod over the interests of Scotland just because they had a majority in England.
She quoted the words of Mary Queen of Scots at her trial: “Don’t forget your decision will be viewed in the theatre of the whole world which is wider than the Kingdom of England.”
Being an opera fan I rather prefer the operatic version where Mary says “My head will be removed by the perfidiousness of the English.”
It is going to be an interesting five years in the House of Commons.
Can I congratulate the Speaker at the House of Commons for putting an immediate stop to the “show boating” of the SNP by their continual clapping in the House of Commons.
The Presiding Officer at Holyrood seems perfectly content to compere what at times could be a performance at a poor comedy club, particularly during First Minister’s Questions, when MSPs seem to gather applause just for asking a question.
She should follow the Speaker’s example and stop forthwith the incessant clapping, allowing more time for questions and debate rather than continually having to shout “Order, Order”.