Sittings of the House (Wednesday 17 April)

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 8:35 pm on 16th April 2013.

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Photo of George Galloway George Galloway Respect, Bradford West 8:35 pm, 16th April 2013

I have never heard such tosh.

This House of Commons continued its adversarial, bear-pit, unarmed political combat throughout the darkest days of the second world war. Mr Churchill did not ask for Parliament to be silenced and for confrontations across the House to be forbidden when our soldiers were being laid waste. In the Norway debate, the House of Commons rose perhaps to its finest 20th century moment. Nobody said, “Our armed forces have suffered a disaster. The House of Commons cannot meet. The clash of ideas cannot be heard. We must muffle the drums and silence ourselves.” At Dunkirk, the House clashed without pause. Real war leaders like Mr Churchill understood that the whole point of our being here, the whole point of democracy, the whole point of elections is that we do not suspend normal political activity.