Shropshire Star comment: Bullying in Commons is offensive
Another week, another series of episodes that leave the British public wondering if political life in this country can possibly find any new depths to plunge.
As if Labour’s anti-Semitism shame, the disgraceful treatment of Sir Kim Darroch, and the limp – and largely pointless – Tory leadership squabbles weren’t bad enough, we have now been told that our Parliament is a hotbed of bullying and harassment.
According to a probe into the behaviour of MPs in Westminster, some of our elected members have helped to create a culture of abuse in the House, with the abysmal treatment of staff so commonplace that it has become accepted behaviour.
To the surprise of absolutely no-one, MPs have been queuing up to declare their shock since the publication of the report, with the vast majority of them telling anyone who cares to listen: “It weren’t me, your honour.”
As the report rightly points out, the House of Commons should be at the forefront of good employment practice, not languishing in the dark ages.
It paints an alarming picture of a seat of democracy that is already creaking thanks to our parliamentarians’ collective efforts to stop Brexit from happening. It goes without saying that the type of bullying behaviour detailed in the report should not be tolerated under any circumstances.
Hopefully strong measures will be put in place in the very near future to dismantle this climate of abuse. Our MPs clearly need to start seeing the bigger picture.
In recent years there has been a drastic increase in the number of attacks on elected members, predominantly on social media. The murder of Jo Cox in 2016 should have been a watershed moment in terms of heralding in a kinder form of political discourse.
Yet some of our MPs still clearly believe it is acceptable to treat their staff in the most appalling manner.
We can only assume that the perpetrators believe they can get away with their bullying and abusive behaviour.
They must understand that the public in this country is frustrated. At the very least, we want to see our parliamentarians behaving in a respectable manner at all times. Is that really too much to ask?