In the UK parliament you aren’t allowed to call an MP a coward. In Canada, calling someone ‘a trained seal’ is frowned upon. But the Dutch parliament has no problem with MPs calling each other a ‘gormless person’. Mr Wilders answered: ‘Mrs Speaker, Mr Pechtold is such a gormless person. He’s such a sad, hypocritical and gormless person. That’s all I have to say.’
I also often watch debates in the UK parliament. Since the ‘gormless person’ incident, I see it with fresh eyes. And maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but all of a sudden I picture David Cameron and Ed Miliband in short trousers and caps. William Hague and Nick Clegg pass by on mini scooters.
But what happens if you’re seeing things in your own country through foreign eyes?