New technology based on the Hawkeye system is being introduced to the House of Commons which will show instantly whether or not insults thrown during debates have hit the target. Observers believe it could have a significant effect on the outcome of parliamentary votes.
Obvious big hits will not need to be challenged but now, for more nuanced and subtle digs, MPs will be able to ‘go upstairs’ for a decision from the third umpire. Further ‘Hotspot’ technology will be able to tell whether or not there is a flush on the cheeks of an embarrassed MP, or even previously hidden trouser incidents, which will now allow votes to be taken with confidence and avoid any bad feeling or hindsight regrets.
As with all such systems however, the time limits on debates means the number of challenges permitted on both sides of the house will be restricted. ‘It may lead to a situation where someone, say it’s someone important, like David Cameron, says something so wrong that he should have the grace to accept his fate and walk out of the chamber, but with no challenges remaining he could conceivably just stay there and brazen it out,’ said BBC political editor Geoffrey Boycott, ‘It’s just not cricket, is that.’