In The House

Entry by: percypop

21st October 2015
A Fantasy.

The Leader of the Opposition rose to address the House. He was a slight man with a grizzled beard. His thinning hair framed his narrow face in a cloud of wispy grey. As he approached the dispatch box he crumpled his notes in trembling hands.

"I wish to make a statement to the House" his voice was hoarse and weak but increased in volume as he spoke.

"For many years I have stood as a candidate not only for my constituency but for maintaining standards of political conduct." A murmur of agreement rippled through the backbenches on both sides of the House.

"but today I put before this assembly one of the worst outrages encountered since I first entered Parliament."

His words were transmitted through the relay system to the entire Parliamentary building. Members hurried to the Chamber, stumbling over the legs of those already seated, in the effort to find a place.

"One of our Honourable Members has pursued a campaign of vindictive, unfounded, allegations against a senior ex member of this House in defiance of the reported exculpation of that man."

His rheumy eye focussed on a fat little man who sat near him on the same front bench. All eyes followed in that direction. Something about the demeanour of the little man seemed to change under their gaze.

His figure shrank inside his cheap blue suit -his bulbous eyes, behind the thick glasses, seemed they might burst at any moment; his hands began to tremble. He slipped off the green leather bench onto his knees, gripping the edge of the treasury table in front of him. Mumbled words dribbled from his mouth, but so faintly they were incomprehensible.

"Speak up! Speak out man!" the cry rang out from several parts of the chamber.
"Silence! " The Speaker stamped his little foot in petulant rage "Order! Order! Let him speak."

Slowly, rising from the ground, the little man in the crumpled blue suit stood holding on to the dispatch box for support.

"It was me" tears coursed down his plump cheeks "I started the allegations and when the suspect was dead,
I felt safe to repeat what I knew to be unfounded."

A wail reverberated round the assembly -to think one of their number had use Parliamentary Privilege to hound an innocent man -it was unbelievable! A travesty ! Had it ever happened before? They racked their brains. Everyone agreed this was the first time the sacred bond of integrity had been broken.

With his eyes focussed on the floor, the culprit pushed past the members sitting between him and the entrance to the Chamber. They recoiled to avoid accidental contact as he passed. He turned and gave a last look through red rimmed eyes, then he trudged through the doors, never to return.

"Now" said the Speaker in a brisk tone "Let us move on to consider Members expenses."