An unexpected interjection


“What if the leader of the Labour party suddenly went into labour while the house was in session?”

This was the question I asked a friend of mine the other night during a phone conversation. His reply was that it would make for some interesting viewing. I told him that we would never get to see anything and that they would just cut away to an ad break or a continuous shot of Trevor Mallard turning ashen while he?attempted to maintain order and tried not to faint.

?No!? Was my friend?s categorical response. ?We have a right to know about and see anything going on in the house while it?s in session.?

The inner sanctum of the debating chamber is a very special place with many interesting traditions and rules. It?s about the only place I can think of where the sitting sovereign is denied entry and ideas such as parliamentary privilege endow much more freedom to sitting members in order to enable as robust a debate as possible.

I went away and had a look through the 1995 Standing Orders and found the following under Appendix D: Rules for filming and conditions for use of official television coverage, Part A, section 1:

(5): Generally, interjections are not covered. But if the member speaking engages with the interjector, the interjector?s reaction can be filmed.

So I guess I?m assuming that the birth of a baby in the house would most likely be considered as an interjection of sorts to proceedings. But what if the Prime Minister is the member speaking at the time and the onset of labour proves to be an interjection to her own question or response?

(1): The cameras will cover the member who has been called to speak until the member?s speech is finished or the member?s call is terminated by the speaker. Coverage will normally be medium range, head and shoulders. The director may choose to vary the camera angle to add interest to the coverage. Switching between such shots should be done at an appropriate point in the speech.

I do hope the Prime Minister times her run well and not just for her sake either. While the viewing numbers?for the house in session are traditionally not very high, I?m pretty sure that people would prefer not to see this type of interjection take place.

But?in all seriousness and sincerity, I hope the Prime Minister has a stress-free and as well-managed pregnancy as?possible and that her baby proves to be healthy and strong. All joking aside, pregnancy is a very significant and wonderful experience in everyone’s life and I believe no one, irrespective of their personal or political views would wish her or her family any ill will.

The intrinsic value placed on life is something which I believe typifies conservatism and sets it apart from certain other political ideologies which don’t share the same level of respect and honour.

Once the Prime Minister recovers and comes back to work we can all go back to normal viewing and continue savaging her party?s disastrous economic policies and hold the present government to account.