During a fractious debate in parliament on Monday evening, Lloyd Russell-Moyle, the Labour MP for Kemptown & Peacehaven, picked up the ceremonial mace that marks the authority of the Speaker of the House of Commons, sparking one of the most British fusses of all time.
Goodness me – if you are in my nerd world this is a really, really big deal – like throwing your drink over all of your mates in the pub cos you don’t like the tone of the conversation, and smashing all the glasses https://t.co/XEEEiG0hkw
— Laura Kuenssberg (@bbclaurak) December 10, 2018
Britain has fallen pic.twitter.com/WFPV6DwFbc
— Julia Macfarlane (@juliamacfarlane) December 10, 2018
The image quickly sparked a furore over on American political Twitter as it slowly realised the hilarious fact that the difference between America and Britain is that while America’s constitution is written on a piece of paper, Britain’s constitution is spread across a variety of ceremonial weaponry. Their first reaction was confusion:
Can someone give me a British Parliament mace explainer
— Dante Atkins (@DanteAtkins) December 10, 2018
What’s the American equivalent of steeling the ceremonial mace? Raiding the Senate candy desk?
— Benjy Sarlin: Endgame (@BenjySarlin) December 10, 2018
…which was quickly overtaken by the second stage: general hilarity.
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) December 10, 2018
I have taken
that was on
a breach of decorum
it was a political prop
and so meaningless
— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) December 10, 2018
now look what you’ve done, even the Americans are laughing at us
— David Wyllie (@journodave) December 10, 2018
As for Russell-Moyle himself? He was thrown out of parliament but will live to face the mace another day.
Thankfully they haven’t locked me in the Tower of London but if they had I’d expect May to be in the cell next to me for her treatment of Parliament today. I’m allowed back tomorrow after my symbolic protest against this government, wish May wasn’t allowed back. https://t.co/S51q5O9QEt
— Lloyd Russell-Moyle (@lloyd_rm) December 10, 2018