UnNews:Parliament bans "Tweeting" during sessions

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20 January 2011

The Wat Tyler debate in the House of Commons, when it was still within the rules to take part in debates 'astride a sturdy mount.'

LONDON, United Kingdom -- The Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons, Lindsay Hoyle, has banned M.P.s from Tweeting whilst trying to stay awake during a turgid speech.

Citing a Parliamentary Statute of 1381, 'Ye Shalle Nott Mayke The Sonng of a Byrd Wythyn this Royale Palace of Westminster On the Payne of Death,' Hoyle has urged all 'Members' that to continue to tweet would result in some grisly punishments -- all of them still legal and unrepealed. He referred all members to the case of Wat Tyler v Rex during the Pheasants Revolt of that year.

Addressing the House of Commons from the Speaker's Chair, Hoyle added:

Cquote1.svg All honorable members will have taken notice that in 1381 that when King Richard II held his parliament, the Labour Party M.P. for Revolting Peasants and Other Undesirables, a certain Mr W.Tyler, did make rude bird sounds in front of his majesty. The King had declared that no man should be allowed to make 'sounds of the bird which are also called tweeting' and had Tyler brought to trial on the spot -- with a knife in the guts and head removed there of and stuck on the roof of Westminster Hall. The M.P.s gathered there agreed to vote in favour of the statute I mentioned earlier and since then, it has been against the rules of the House in sitting that any one making a bird sound should be executed. As the wording of this bill specifically mentions 'tweeting,' I will follow the understanding of the word as it was then known in 14th century England rather than anything more recent. Cquote2.svg

Many M.P.s have said this will be 'unworkable' and have vowed to appeal the ruling of the Chair. They say it is absurd to ban Tweeting when the House of Commons maintains the other fine traditions of libel, backstabbing, pouring poison down Members' ears, and storing gunpowder under the House of Lords.

Sources[edit]

Staff "British lawmakers told off for tweeting in Commons." Associated Press, January 19, 2011