Commons Speaker should resign after hypocrisy over Diane Abbott

Diane Abbott: the latest insult against her has been delivered by Parliament itself.

Prime Minister’s Questions this week (Wednesday, March 13, 2024) was unsurprisingly dominated by one issue: the racist comments by the Conservative Party’s biggest donor – Frank Hester – against a black, female member of Parliament who is currently under suspension from the Labour Party – Diane Abbott.

Questioner after questioner was called to discuss Hester’s transgression with Rishi Sunak, with one notable exception – Diane Abbott.

According to Sky News, she stood up no fewer than 46 times:

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Watch this compilation video, which shows Ms Abbott – in an eye-catching red coat at the back of the Opposition benches – standing in the hope of catching Speaker Lyndsay Hoyle’s attention, so that she could take part in the discussion of her own safety… and being ignored, every time. I include Colin Patton’s remark so you can read it:

Did Hoyle and the others staining the House of Commons think nobody would notice this extreme – and extended – act of disrespect to a woman who has already suffered enough disrespect over this issue – and more disrespect, simply because she is a black, female MP, than everybody else in the building put together?

If they did, they were wrong:

What a shame that Ms Abbott did not follow the example of former MP Bernadette Devlin, in similar circumstances:

Ms Abbott’s response was more dignified:

The decision to ignore Parliamentary tradition has led to an obvious demand – here presented by possibly the most visible person able to make it. Looking at Ms Abbott’s comment, it is entirely possible that she supports this:

Lyndsay Hoyle has, of course, ignored Parliamentary traditions and conventions before. I refer specifically to the moment he allowed a Labour amendment to the SNP’s motion for a ceasefire in Gaza to be discussed, in breach of convention, saying it was because MPs had received threats (I’ve never understood how allowing the Labour amendment that favours Israel negated the alleged threat from “Islamists”).

He said – well, hear it for yourself:

Isn’t it odd that, the other time, he said he was “looking after members”, whereas this time he  was deliberately disrespecting one of them?

Stephen Flynn, Westminster leader of the SNP, said as much in a TV interview after PMQs finished – and echoed calls for Hoyle to be removed:

It’s the hypocrisy that leads This Writer to agree that it is time for Hoyle to go. He has disgraced the Speaker’s Chair, and the office of the Speaker, once too often.

(He won’t, of course, because these people have no shame.)

What’s the result? Well, there’s this on the Tory side of the story:

Worse – and you’re forgiven if you didn’t think that was possible – is Labour’s response, which is to try to make a bit of money off of it, despite the fact that Ms Abbott’s membership of the Parliamentary Labour Party has been suspended for nearly a year:

Here is what This Writer considers to be an almost supernaturally reasonable response to this wave of hypocrisy from the Labour Party:

(Pamela Fitzpatrick is, by the way, standing as an Independent candidate in the currently Labour-held constituency of Harrow West. If you live there, please support her with your vote.)

And in case anybody has forgotten what kind of person she is, let’s give the last word to Ms Abbott’s long-term left-wing Labour colleague – and former party leader – Jeremy Corbyn:

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One Comment

  1. El Dee March 14, 2024 at 6:06 pm - Reply

    Part of Hester’s ‘defence’ of his remarks was that he is not racist because he ‘does not hate black people’

    This is often a defence to racism allegations and is, sadly, very wrong. Go back in history, perhaps less than a hundred years officially and perhaps fifty years unofficially, and you will find that the general perception was NOT always one of hate. Many ordinary people believed, and were led to believe, that black people were ‘savages’ and ‘less intelligent’ They were to be pitied. In the school system in the 70s black children were still being treated as though this were true. Those reinforcing those beliefs truly thought that they were not racist but that these ‘views’ were true.

    Racism isn’t necessarily about hate. It’s about being treated differently, it’s about being regarded as ‘less than’

    We need to challenge this at every opportunity and we need to say why..

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