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Points of Order

Volume 573: debated on Thursday 9 January 2014

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I notified my right hon. Friend the Member for Banbury (Sir Tony Baldry) that I intended to raise this point of order. I have enormous respect for him, and he has been a great help to me over an issue in my constituency. In reference to the answer that he gave me during Church Commissioners questions, I should like to clarify that the anti-Israel exhibition at St. James’s church was primarily about the Israeli fence, of which 5% is wall, and which has prevented 95% of suicides. That is why I argued that it was a one-sided exhibition that would do a lot to harm religious tolerance.

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for that clarification. I am sure that the House will now feel better informed.

On a point of order, Mr Speaker. I seek your guidance on the potential use in proceedings of the old Wiltshire word “ganderflanking”. I have sought the help of “Erskine May”, but found none. Loosely translated, “ganderflanking” means aimless messing around. Would you agree that this archaic but colourful word might, if considered to be in order, become a useful tool not only for hon. Members but for the Chair itself?

Beyond acknowledging the hon. Gentleman’s courtesy in giving me advance notice of his intention to raise this point of order, I would say two things to him. First, I note his implicit and rather interesting distinction between “aimless” messing around and what I presume is to be interpreted as purposeful messing around. Secondly, I am always grateful to the hon. Gentleman insofar as he seeks to protect the interests of Members and, especially, of the Chair. A cynical soul might hazard a guess that he had been in consultation with representatives of BBC Wiltshire, to whom I know this word is a matter of great interest, but it would be unworthy of me to make any such allegation and I do not do so. I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman, and we will leave it there for today.