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Communication Dans Un Congrès Année :

Quieter and more civilised but not more accountable


Pmqs as a tool to hold the government to account has long been dismissed as a counter-productive “Punch and Judy show”. Since the Covid-19 restrictions came into effect in the House of Commons, those sessions have become less crowded and notably quieter. This unprecedented state of affairs have considerably undermined the “tribal effect” typical of parliamentary groups during Pmqs. Additionally the video conferencing technology requires more attention and calm in the house. Consequently, the confrontational quality of the debates has turned into an uncharacterically pacified moment. The number of interruptions and face attacking acts (insults) have been reduced to non-existence removing any possibility to catch the PM off guard. Those departures from the script or the impromptu answers to a question shouted from the Opposition benches are key elements to assess accountability. Finally, the “supportive collective backchanelling” noise as well as barracking also provide valuable indications on the importance and credibility of the information the PM is putting across.
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hal-03117972 , version 1 (04-02-2021)


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  • HAL Id : hal-03117972 , version 1


Stéphane Revillet. Quieter and more civilised but not more accountable. PSA Parliaments Annual Conference: Analysing Prime Minister's Questions, Political Studies Association, Dec 2020, Birmingham (on line), United Kingdom. ⟨hal-03117972⟩


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