Watch Mhairi Black expose the ‘anachronistic toss-pottery’ of the Westminster elite

Mhairi Black and the Black Rod
Stefan Schmid

Mhairi Black has slammed the elites of Westminster claiming the palace is “not a functioning parliament”. And her speech led to social media users praising her for exposing the “”anachronistic toss-pottery” of parliament.

Speaking at a Secular Society meeting at Glasgow University on 5 April, the SNP MP hilariously tore into the customs and traditions of Westminster:


Black highlighted the restrictive voting practices of the House of Commons. She told the audience that if you do not get into the lobby in eight minutes the door will be shut, no matter who you are. Laughing, the MP said:

I once had the pleasure of watching Iain Duncan Smith run, run like that bus that you want to catch just to pretend that he didn’t want it… I saw it.

“It is not a functioning parliament”

In the talk, Black also spoke about private member’s bills. The Paisley and South Renfrewshire MP explained that these bills are an opportunity to have a “free pop” at making a law. After random selection, the six chosen bills have to be read and debated in the Commons before 2.30pm or they go to waste.

An “old Victorian rule” called the quorum means there need to be at least 40 MPs present. If there is disagreement as to how many people are in the chamber, it goes to a vote.

While waiting for one quorum vote, a Conservative MP refused to leave the lobby to slow the process even further. After five minutes, the speaker was said to have called upon the serjeant of arms, a sword wearing official, to move the straggler on.

Pointing at a slide showing the gross pay of an MP, £76,011, Black said:

Twice I saw a grown man coming out a lobby, getting chased by someone with a sword. Right, now you have to laugh at that. I had to laugh at that. Well, I had to text my pals immediately right, but… the reality is that’s what we get paid.

If there is six votes in one night we get paid that, and we do nothing but stand and gab in a corridor. I mean, justify that… It’s because it is not a functioning parliament, it is a joke.

“Anachronistic toss-pottery”

Users took to Twitter to praise Black’s speech. One claimed she was a “superb asset” while others celebrated her for exposing the “anachronistic toss-pottery” of parliament:

Hopefully Mhairi Black is just one of a new wave of MPs coming through who will challenge the outdated systems of Westminster. It’s our money that’s going to waste after all…

You can watch the full video here via Independence Live.

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