A Word In Your Ear - May 15, 2015

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Pints in hand, we were discussing last week’s election while sat in the Commons. No, not that unruly chamber seen on TV, but the room of that name in Blackpool’s oldest pub, The Saddle.

The historic inn, on Whitegate Drive, once also had a popular Lords room. As at Westminster, the décor of the Lords was red and its atmosphere polite while, in the Commons, it was green upholstery and raucous.

Between them was the bar (or Division Lobby) and also a front Smoking Room for quieter contemplation. This latter has now been renamed as the Lords but is used mainly for dining. The old Lords, once men-only and where Marton Council met, was removed years ago for a bigger bar.

Front benches in our Commons are also the privilege of long-sitting regulars. Certain Mavericks cross from one side to the other but, generally, everyone knows their place.

Two ‘Fathers of the House’, old salts Paul and Jack, orchestrate debate while barmaid Luscious Lou calls ‘order’.

There are some who mutter in wisdom; others difficult to shut up.

We also have a rebel, like veteran Willie Hamilton was in Parliament. Ours is the mischievous Paddy, who stirs controversy. Many would grant him Home Rule for Hamilton, where he’s from, then annex his independent-minded nation. However another Scot, ‘Flagger’ Tommy, is proud of sons who fought for Queen and United Kingdom.

Our only Welsh member, Bill, hovers in the bar - sorry, old Division Lobby - where he spoke of parliamentary misrepresentation.

“Plaid Cymru’s all about the South,” he complained, “while UKIP got more votes than the SNP but only one seat.”

The general consensus was that it was a tight result locally, with Labour just ahead of Tories and a wedge of UKIP in between.

“Now, that’s enough political talk!” ruled little Paul, from Belfast, “besides, the next horse race is starting on telly.”

* For Roy’s books, visit www.royedmonds-blackpool.com.