Tweet revenge: Off with her head!
It seems that when a morning-coated flunky cried ‘hats off strangers’ ahead of yesterday’s State Opening of Parliament, the Prime Minister’s wife, shockingly, had no hat to remove.
Hard to believe, but the fact that the perfectly turned out Samantha Cameron was not wearing a hat whilst sitting demurely in the public gallery of the House of Lords represented a major parliamentary moment.
Sarah before her wore one, Cherie too, Norma did the same. Dennis? He must have had a topper to hand. But Sam Cam so broke with Parliamentary tradition that she attracted note.
Liz Kendall went one further.
The new MP for Leicester West was so startled by the anthropological scene that befell her that she not only snapped what she saw, but Tweeted it too.
‘I felt like I was in such a different world’, said she upon seeing so much fur, accompanied by more diamonds and tiaras than she could count.
Poor Ms Kendall is being dragged before the Sergeant at Arms, whose office informs me, ‘the incident will be dealt with appropriately’. Has the Sergeant ever Twittered? Will she Tweet Ms Kendall’s punishment?
What is appropriate in so inappropriate a scene? How many stoats died to provide all that ermine; how much did the livery, the brass work, the carriage maintenance cost? One of them is only trundled out to carry the inanimate crown.
The scenes in Parliament jarred awkwardly with the tableau at the far end of the House of Lords – the fresh faced coalition politicians craning to glimpse the panjandrum unfolding before them.
Here were they attempting to represent the smack of firm government in the face of the worst fiscal crisis in modern memory and their place of work had been reduced to a picture of such flummery, sycophancy, and Silver Stickery, as to put the efforts of the Queen of Hearts, the White Rabbit and Alice herself to shame.
Conjure the mace wielding threats from the Sergeant at Arms against the unfortunate Ms Kendall; the picture of the bewigged Ken Clarke staggering backwards up the steps to the throne, and tapestry is complete.
Expenses? The mere tip of an iceberg of anachronistic pantomime?
Was it the ‘establishment’ simply offering several of its fingers to the high reforming aspiration of these public school educated revolutionaries?
Were we witnessing a scene so spectacularly well enacted that it put to shame those who seek austerity and change?
Was this a pageant of such vital connection with our past that it must be preserved at all cost?
Or was this an enactment of such patent absurdity that it cast further doubt on the entire Parliamentary enterprise either to reform itself, or to follow up upon the high-flown aspirations of people like Liz Kendall who have eschewed a blameless life ‘outside’, to come in to try to serve the citizens amongst whom they move and have their being?
Cromwell? Faulks? How great was your failure? What punishment can possibly now fit Ms Kendall’s unforgiveable act of rebellion?