Heckling at City Hall, (illegal according to the rules) from Labour during Mayor’s Question Time is still allowed. Although Chairman Darren Johnson feebly chides John Biggs, no action is ever taken, so Biggsie continues to take full advantage of the toothlessness of the Chair. He heckles Boris whenever he feels like it. A lefty in the audience also shouted at the Mayor about ticket office closures and no usher reprimanded him, that I could see.
The worst example of heckling ever in the Chamber was when the firefighters were allowed to run riot for over two hours, yelling insults at the Mayor. The language and remarks where I was sitting were quite awful. In the end, I shouted right back at them, and told them shut it or get out. Their astonished faces that they were being challenged, by a woman no less, were hilarious.
Labour are taking an unfair tactical advantage by heckling, heckling is a way of showing how passionately you feel. Maddeningly, they claim to be speaking for all Londoners, which is not true. Many Londoners agree with the Mayor’s argument that modernisation has supplanted the ticket offices. Many Londoners also do not approve of the demands of the firefighters. Why should the private sector always bear the pain? Many believe the FBU is greedy, irresponsible and selfish. So Labour should not be allowed to say they are speaking for all Londoners unchallenged.
The Tory Assembly members are unaggressive, law abiding and courteous. The Mayor also, probably does not agree with Tory heckling. But heckling can be bullying. It is street fighting, guerilla tactics. Boris doesn’t need any help in fighting his corner, he can duff them up with one hand tied behind his back. It’s the principle. It is not right to sit there passively and let Tory policies be shouted down by sheer numbers, manhandled by a load of rule breaking yobs.
Val Shawcross was not telling the truth yesterday, about the brilliant handling of the budget by the Mayor. Boris has raised millions in funding, saving those millions for the public purse. He has also raised billions in investment, while the negligent, near criminal Labour Mayor raised a big fat zero. Biggsie was heckling, Jenny Jones was heckling, so I shouted at Val. I was happy to be reprimanded by an usher, but believe it was wrong that nothing is ever done about John Biggs, nor was one fire fighter reprimanded by an usher as they spewed abuse for over two hours.
Heckling can be bullying. Tories should not accept bullying. More importantly, they should not give Labour such an important tactical advantage. Either all parties should be allowed by the Chair to be vocal, or none.
Far from penitent, I’m just getting warmed up. Take major unfair advantage again, Labour and I will shout back for the sake of those principles much vaunted by you – balance and fairness, the principles you claimed for yourselves at the funeral of Lady Thatcher, when you vilely abused a dead hero, the principles you never allow anyone else.