Parliament's Standing Orders Committee is proposing new rules for the upcoming live broadcast of Parliament. Reading their report [PDF], many of the changes are good - the cameras will now no longer be limited to focusing on the Speaker or the Member with the call, but will also be allowed to show reaction shots, as well as some wide-angle shots of the chamber. However, they will be explicitly forbidden for using images for the purpose of "satire, ridicule or denigration" - and violating the rules will become a contempt of Parliament. So, broadcasters could face a Star Chamber of MPs and be fined, forced to apologise, or even imprisoned at the pleasure of the Speaker for reporting accurately the fact that sometimes our elected representatives sleep on the job, make obscene gestures, or generally abuse each other like children.
Talk about setting the fox to watch the henhouse. Like the absolute monarchs of old, our elected representatives are resurrecting lese majeste to protect their overinflated egos from being punctured by their
subjects voters' displeasure at the vulgarity of their behaviour. They are abusing their power to protect themselves from the political consequences of their own behaviour. And that is something we should not allow. The recent abuse of Parliamentary Privilege shows that a sovereign Parliament is just as dangerous as a sovereign monarch. It's time we emasculated it.
(Oh, and it appears that this image will now be considered a contempt. I await my summons from the Seargeant at Arms)