History

Date: Thu 19th August 2010

The sheer sense of our inheritance and history is something that strikes all new MPs and the majority of us believe in its continuation.

The main Parliament building was destroyed by fire in 1834 and only Westminster Hall, where our monarchs and heads of state lie in state on death, has survived. This leads to the hall and the entrance to the Lobby where the sword of one statue was glued back together after one of the suffragettes cut through it in a demonstration.

During WWII the House of Commons was bombed and, undeterred, Churchill decamped to the Lords where, lore has it, that his ring marks are found on the despatch table where he banged his fist to get his point across. Whether these marks can be seen today is disputed but I have certainly seen dents that could have been made by the great man.

It may seem arcane to some that in the modern 21 st century that men still wear frock coats, wigs and tights; the uniform of centuries ago. But that is what makes it great, its sense of power, that there is something gluing together the executive, the elected, the Lords and our monarch. It is our heritage we celebrate on a day-to-day basis.

How bland it would be and we would lose something if we all just wore suits. I think the current speaker has diminished this great role by wearing a suit and a cloak that looks something like a head teacher would wear on speech day.

Tradition is something that binds us all together where mediocrity and multiculturalism has miserably failed.