Simon Carr:

The Sketch: Noise pollution drowns out Hoon

Related Topics

Ah, it's Hoon again, we're in safe hands. He'll get us a new runway at Heathrow if anyone can. When it comes to tough, serious, long-term decisions, he's the man. He got us into Iraq all right didn't he?

His smooth, plausible statement promised great green things to the House. Up behind him though, it looked like John McDonnell was going to go off in 45 minutes – and blow me that's just what happened.

Hoon is going to increase flights by half but reduce carbon emissions by 80 cent. He's going to bump up landings and take-offs but decrease noise and pollution. And this great carbon-destroying runway will only be used half the time. It'll be a great source of jobs, environmental virtue, sleepier nights and easy travel.

It'll be... "An absolute disgrace!" McDonnell yelled when it came to his turn. He's a Labour backbencher and had, like many London MPs, steam coming out of his nostrils. Terrific sight. His constituents (Hayes and Harlington) would "lose their homes, schools, churches and cemeteries"! All the stuff about the environment was "spin!" Or as he put it, "SPIN!" He wanted a debate, he wanted a vote. (What? In the House of Commons?)

Hoon began with some suave remarks about the House never voting "on quasi-judicial matters" but his argument disappeared under McDonnell's gargling cries for democracy. It was an issue for the country, Hoon protested. "This IS the country!" McDonnell yelled, indicating the House around him.

He was pointing and shouting and laying hands on the Mace, lifting it out of its place and putting it where Dennis Skinner normally sits. It may be that the House then was technically not sitting and McDonnell, by a procedural nicety, was allowed to hit the minister right fat in the middle of his comfortable jurisprudence.

Oh, what a deplorable scene, it warmed this sketch-writer's bones. Now, somewhere in the undergrowth there is a group of MPs that meets under the name of Parliament First. Their aim is "to hold the executive to account". They had a launch, wrote a book and went home. They are once more planning to seize the agenda. Or, to wave at it from a respectful distance. They have formed something called a Steering Committee.

We should wish them well; or equally call them a bunch of useless, washed-up toss-pots in the hope that they might be stung into displaying some fraction of McDonnell's vigour.

No, you can't seize the Mace as a matter of course. But Parliament isn't going to be re-invented by forming a committee. "Holding the executive to account" is a revolutionary act. If they really want a lawful coup, what about David Howarth's idea of blocking government business until demands are met? But they don't really want it. If they did, they'd do it.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Packaging Operatives

£7 - £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for two indivi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee / Graduate Helpdesk Analyst

£20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...

Recruitment Genius: Estimator

£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a major supplier of buil...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£28000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Ukip MEP Janice Atkinson (left) with party leader Nigel Farage  

Hey, Nigel Farage and Kerry Smith – my family are East Enders too and never use that word

Victoria Richards
A screenshot from the trailer for Hatred  

I love violent video games, but you'll never catch me playing Hatred

Alex White
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas