Call Your MP a Coward: Face Jail (2013), by John Kersey
Call your MP a coward: face jail
by John Kersey
Posted on the LA Blog, 29th July 2013
Some years ago, Disraeli, on being instructed to withdraw his allegation that half the cabinet were knaves, asserted that half the cabinet were not knaves. Today, the word "coward" along with such glorious epithets as "git" and "guttersnipe" appears on a list of terms to which the Speaker of the House of Commons has made exception when Honourable Members use them to refer to each other. Upon hearing such a term, he will normally require the member concerned to withdraw it, and that will be the end of the matter.
No such mild rebuke, however, from Hove MP Mike Weatherley. He was called a coward by Alex Cline, a university lecturer, during a protest at the University of Sussex, and Mr Cline now faces a two day trial in which he is expected to offer a robust defence.
Mr Cline is charged with "using threatening/abusive/insulting words/behaviour to cause harassment/alarm/distress." He faces a maximum penalty of six months imprisonment, a fine of £5,000 or both.
I am speechless - above all at the sheer waste of public money and court time. Perhaps it is time the LA organized a mass showering of traditional British invective for our MPs, so that they may learn from the experience that a reasonably thick skin is a requirement of the job?