Thursday 11 June 2009

Stoppard for translation of parliamentary prose

This is the perfect time for a rethink on the role of the speaker as well as that of parliament. A new era of parliamentary involvement and activism? Yes, please. John Berkow's idea of the speaker as a public ambassador for the work of parliament is a good one, and would help raise awareness of what parliament does, and its role in examining legislation.
Something has definitely got to be done about the public perception that parliament is simply a debating chamber which is invariably empty except for a few moments when everyone piles in for a bit of yah-boo yelling.
I would like to nominate Tom Stoppard to take a stab at rewriting Erskine May, the bible of parliamentary procedure. This rewrite, as nominated by Menzies Campbell, in his pitch for speaker, is much needed for the rest of the world to know and understand what is going on in the world of parliament. It makes sense to translate such madness as "the question be now put, and the question being put, that the question now be put, being put and agreed to, the question was put" into something just a tiny bit more sensible. Stoppard who is responsible for a new version of Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard, and takes a lovely stab at translating Shakespearian rhythm in his fantastic script for the film Shakespeare in Love, would be the ideal man to wade through the words and bring it beautifully into the 21st century. It could be the real thing.

1 comment:

Newmania said...

Stoppard serves on the advisory board of the magazine Standpoint, and was instrumental in its foundation, giving the opening speech at its launch.

That`ll do me nicely .