In the Christmas issue of the New Statesman, comedian Josie Long nominates her favourite things of the year. One of them is this YouTube video, “Dennis Skinner trolls the Queen”.
It’s become an annual tradition for the Bolsover MP to heckle when Black Rod – resplendent in dark tights, and sent by the monarch – requests that MPs join him in the House of Lords for the opening of Parliament. (By tradition, the Queen cannot enter the Commons.)
Mostly, Skinner goes for laughs. In 1998 he went for: “Ey up, here comes Puss in Boots”. In 2006, he shouted: “Have you got Helen Mirren on standby?”
In 2008, he asked: “Any Tory moles at the palace?” – a reference to the arrest of Tory MP Damian Green on suspicion of receiving confidential information from a civil servant.
But this year, he went with some more edgy material, shouting: “Jubilee year, double dip recession, what a start.”
Tory MPs responded with cries of “shame!”
You can see an impressively full list of Skinner’s heckles on Wikipedia.