Posts Tagged ‘parliament’

Once when David Lloyd George was speaking in the House of Commons, a member of the opposition kept on interrupting him.’Give him dynamite,’ one of his supporters urged. To which the Welsh Wizard
replied:‘Why should I waste ammunition when insect powder would do as well?’
The last great speech of David Lloyd was made after the debacle in the Norwegian campaign, in the early days of WWII. On this occasion Churchill chose to defend the Chamberlain government. Lloyd George turned to him and said,’My Rt. Hon’ble friend should not convert himself into an air raid shelter to prevent the splinters of public opinion hitting his new-found friends.
Once in a debate in the House, on being scoffed at by Daniel O’Connell for being a Jew, Disraeli retorted: ’Yes, I am a Jew when the ancestors of the Rt. Hon’ble Gentleman were brutal savage in an unknown world, when mine were priests in the Temple of Solomon.’
4. While defending his first budget, Satyamurthy’s interruptions prompted the Finance Minister,Sir James Grigg to say thus:’ The Hon’ble member must face ugly facts.’
Satyamurthy who was seated just opposite to the Minister shot back ‘That’s what I am doing here day by day.’ This felicitous remark brought laughter from all including Sir. James Grigg.


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‘For The Apparel Oft Proclaims the Man’

Kier Hardy,(1856-1815) first Socialist Member of Parliament on the first day of entering the House of Commons was stopped by the police man at the gate. Looking at the figure in his cloth-cap the guard asked:’ Are you working here?’

‘Yes,’ replied Hardie who was indeed a Lancashire miner.

‘On the roof?’

‘No,’ replied the M.P,’On the floor.’


Zachary Taylor(1784-1850) was known as ‘Old Rough and Ready’ for his short and dumpy figure made all the more worse by his thick neck and old battered straw hat that he always sported. He was the least military looking general,- and he looked more a codger that he was mistaken by a newly appointed lieutenant from the West Point.

He mistook him for a camp follower and addressed him as ‘say old codger.’

Later when he realized his mistake he hastened to the general to make amends. Accepting his apology Zachary Taylor said with a smile,’Never judge a stranger by his clothes.’


William Rufus(1087-1100) who reigned as William II had notions of dressing in extraordinary clothes as befitting his majesty. One morning while putting on his new boots he asked his chamberlain what they cost.

He replied,’Three shillings.’ The king shouted,’You son of a whore, how long has the king worn boots so petty a price?’He added,’Go bring me a pair worth a mark of silver.’

The chamberlain went and brought a much cheaper pair. When asked of the price he replied that it cost as much he was allowed. He also added that it suited his majesty handsomely. His answer pacified the king who let his chamberlain a free hand to choose his clothes. Not only he pleased the king thereby he also lined his pocket handsomely.


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In The House Of The Lords

The House of Lords was generally considered as the grave of eloquence. When someone remarked that Disraeli would find the Lords tame after the Commons, he replied,”I am dead;dead but in the Elysian fields.”
A young peer once asked Disraeli what course of study he had best undertaken to qualify himself of speaking so as to catch the ear of the House of the Lords.
“Have you a graveyard near your house?” asked Dizzy.
“Then I should recommend you to visit it early of a morning and practise upon the tombstones”.
Final Days
Disraeli was already ill and as he corrected the proof of his final speech in Parliament,he said wearily, ”I’ll not go down to posterity talking bad grammar”.
As death drew near, Disraeli ravaged by gout and asthma,quipped, ‘ I have suffered much. Had I been a nihilist, I would have confessed all.’

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Disraeli’s complete control of the entire House while in opposition and in power, no one else in his day or before equalled- possibly with the exception of Chatham, was due to his ability to take its pulse and respond to it. Towards this he was always present on the House and was prepared. He knew the subject of debate and had an astonishing memory for facts that he did not have to rely on notes.

  He always entered the chamber some five or ten minutes before the proceedings began and he had a solemn air combined with easy confidence. He walked up slowly on the whole length of the floor and when he reached the corner of the table he made a low bow to the Chair. Many M.P’s have found this ceremony painful and feeling self-conscious often have tried to duck it as far as possible. But Disraeli thought it was a necessary duty, a courtly recognition of the supremacy of the Chair. 


Dizzy’s physical appearance and immobility added much to his authority. He sat with rigid head and body gazing vacantly into space, his arms folded across his breast, his hat slightly tilted over his brows, one knee crossing the other. No one in the House heard him laugh or smile; his usual expression when speaking was one of patient stoicism tinged with melancholy. His impassivity bordering on a catatonic state often infuriated his opponents whose diatribes seemed to go past him. But no one could have administered a snub with more telling effect than he but even that was done in a manner that delighted everyone except the one at the receiving end. 


His preeminence in parliament was mainly due to his genius as a speaker, not an orator in the manner of Gladstone or Edmund Burke. He had none of the tricks of their trade. He was fully calm and in control of his emotions and spoke without slurring his words clear and low, more as a man of the world. Standing with his hands on his hips or his thumbs in the armholes of his waistcoat he spoke in a consistent manner using no emphasis. This supercilious and even tenor in his voice was the result of careful training and it contrasted immeasurably when he wished to make a point. Suddenly he became animated, the tone in his voice changed, an ironic note crept in, the words were enunciated with more care and distinctness; A slight shrug, a quick glance, a fleeting expression of that sallow face drew bated breath from his hearers. They knew what was to follow. It came with an unerring aim and made some gasp and break up the stillness of the House with resounding cheers. He took no notice of the cheers as if he was above such display and continued with his speech as before.

  He indulged little in gestures depending entirely on his voice to achieve its effect.


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