Cross-Party MPs Question Bully Bercow’s “Medicament” Slurs

The talk of the tearoom during and after the Syria debate was John Bercow’s repeated order to unruly MPs to take a “medicament” to calm them down. Tory MPs say this is another example of his bullying tone – watch his bad-tempered, finger-wagging treatment of Alec Shelbrooke above. Labour MPs have queried whether it is a mental health slur, noting that the word traditionally referred to a substance used to control patients during therapy. Guido has had a look through Hansard and Bercow seems obsessed with the phrase:

To Alec Shelbrooke on 17 April 2018: “Stop it… you are over-excitable and you need to contain yourself. If it requires you to take some medicament, then so be it.”

To Guy Opperman and Ronnie Campbell on 26 March 2018: “It is very unseemly and very unfair on the cerebral Minister at the Dispatch Box. Mr Opperman, Mr Campbell: calm yourselves. Take some sort of soothing medicament and you will feel better.”

To David Davis on 17 December 2017: “I will not take points of order in the middle of Question Time, but I gently say to the Secretary of State that I understand his predicament. A soothing medicament may assist him.”

To the whole House on 13 September 2017: “We have some very excitable denizens of the House today. They ought to take some sort of medicament and calm down.”

To the whole House on 19 July 2017: “Members are shouting, and shouting excessively. They must calm themselves. Take some sort of soothing medicament.”

To Jon Ashworth on 10 July 2017: “Mr Ashworth, you are a cheeky and rather over-excitable whippersnapper. Calm yourself and, as I say, take some sort of soothing medicament.”

To Khalid Mahmood on 5 July 2017: “I noticed earlier, Mr Mahmood, that you seemed to be in a very hyper condition today. I recommend that you take some sort of soothing medicament or go and lie down for a little while. You will feel better at the end of it.”

To David Morris on 19 April 2017: “You are a very restrained individual, bordering on the cerebral, but you have become rather over-excited. Calm yourself. Take some sort of soothing medicament; it will have a beneficial impact upon you.”

Certainly seems a bit hypocritical given the modernising Speaker’s claims to care passionately about mental health issues. Also just very odd…


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