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…The House was ready to snap before a bone had been thrown. A sullen minister rose to reply to a staccato question. His supporters cheered defiantly. ‘None o’ that ! None o’ that !’ came from the Back Benches. I saw the Speaker’s face stiffen like the face of a helmsman as he humours a hard-mouthed yacht after a sudden following sea. The trouble was barely met in time. There came a fresh, apparently causeless gust a few minutes later – savage, threatening, but futile…


This is from “The Village that Voted the Earth was Flat” in A Diversity of Creatures.

There is an atmosphere of political crisis in the House of Commons, and the nerves of tired Members are stretched to the limit. This is the moment one MP, Pallant, chooses to ask a question about Huckley, whose MP, Sir Thomas Ingell, has ridiculed him and his friends. In revenge they have made Huckley a national laughing-stock. Here, in the final denoument, it becomes the subject of hysterical laughter in the House. Ingell’s career is finished.