MPs be­hav­ing badly be­fore the rude tube

The Guardian - Journal - - Letters -

It is silly of Dr Brigid Pur­cell to claim that since the Com­mons be­came tele­vised there’s been a de­cline in ci­vil­ity (Let­ters, 5 De­cem­ber). We had Ber­nadette Devlin as­sault­ing an­other MP in the cham­ber in the 1970s, we had Michael He­sel­tine swing­ing the mace and – as older mem­bers of the SNP, Lib­er­als

(as they were then) and the SDP will tes­tify – ver­bal and phys­i­cal in­tim­i­da­tion by Labour MPs was a rou­tine haz­ard. Fi­nally, there came Den­nis Skin­ner – not called the Beast of Bolsover for noth­ing. David Owen, who had to put up with Skin­ner chant­ing “Dr Death, Dr Death” every time he got up to speak, noted that the MP was a much qui­eter lit­tle mouse af­ter he came to promi­nence due to tele­vi­sion record­ing his ap­palling be­hav­iour.

Mark Boyle

John­stone, Ren­frew­shire

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