Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Charles must join our front bench team

Having a bit of time on my hands as I passed the Houses of Parliament yesterday, I nipped into the public gallery of the Commons for a while. I thought I would get to see some dry old chip from the Labour or Tory benches harping on about the Queen’s Speech. Indeed, as I mounted the stairs to the gallery, the annunicator showed the speaker as someone I would have to scratch my head to remember.

Fate smiled on me though. As I emerged from the elaborate chicane of frisks and handovers of worldly possessions, accompanied by cheerful enquiries and comments about my geographical origin from the stewards, the annunciator changed to say:


Deep joy! I was constrained from doing cartwheels due to the limited space available, but that’s how I felt. What a wonderful sight to see him speaking!

Charles’ speech was measured, statesmanlike, clear and well-woven. He displayed his remarkable experience of parliament, was wry and observant, with telling points. He was particularly in his element on Europe and the British constitution, on which latter subject he said:

The unwritten British constitution is a bit like a water mattress. If one starts to press down on one bit, there will be an instantaneous but somewhat unpredictable reaction elsewhere. That is where we are at the moment.

Brilliant. I noticed that his speech earned respectful looks from around the House. He really should be on our front bench, speaking on Europe or the Constitution. We are wasting a huge talent by not having him there at the moment. He is known as “Chatshow Charlie”, but I was reminded last night that he is also “Commons Charlie”.

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