Okay, I’m a complete geek, but I was watching C-SPAN a couple weeks ago–well, I was flipping by C-SPAN a couple weeks ago (I’m not that geeky), and I ran across what appeared to be a well orchestrated Saturday Night Live skit. British blowhards in all manner or stuffy dress were sitting in a gallery with constipated looks on their faces, booing and frowning. Suddenly the camera cut to Prime Minster, Tony Blair, who stood and read from a great book something about the trash pick-up in Ulster. A man with a three-piece suit and broken capillaries throughout his face popped up out of the crowd and demanded the Prime Minster recognize the mail carriers and their dedication to the delivery of parcels in the UK. Blair stood and declared that he recognized the great work of these people and their never-ending patriotism.
Suddenly a man with a James Bond accent stood up and asked Blair some impossible question (impossible in that it was unanswerable) about Britain’s involvement in the Iraqi situation with the US. Boos rang out, and a bunch of “bo-bo!s” and harrumphing ensued. Blair stood up and wriggled out of the award situation, drowned out by the peanut gallery.
It took me a few minutes to realize that neither Chris Kattan nor Darrell Hammond was in the room. This shit was for real! This was the best C-SPAN show ever! Well, that’s not saying much, but… I was just amazed at how well scripted the thing was. Blair was so good playing the Prime Minister, and the Scottish guy had the brogue down to a science. The haughty man in the checked jacket complaining about the treatment of tea-takers in the suburbs of London was especially moving. I loved the drunken, working-class woman with the cock-eyed haircut and the dowdy dress telling the Prime Minister that he needed to stand up and recognize the contribution of the Cheese Union in Southern Lancashire. I love that he did just that.
This was nothing like the US Congress with their filibusters and their sleepy ancient Southern Klan members. This was the House of Commons; a fun place where you’re allowed to hiss and yell of somebody says something you don’t like. You’re allowed to grill the leader of your country, and needle him with stupid questions and lame tirades about rubbish pick-up. This was the best thing I’ve ever seen having to do with Democratic government. This was politics at its best. This was Prime Minster’s Questions. Go check out some clips from past shows, and you’ll be hooked. It’s hysterical.
I’m just trying to imagine Bush going through this rigorous grilling. I think it would go something like this:
“Um, I refuse to answer that question because it’s un-American to question your leaders.”