BRITISH POLITICS ALERT: Lloyd Russell-Moyle, a Labour Party MP from Kemptown and possessor of the most British name I have read today, including “Libby Watson,” has grabbed the mace in the House of Commons. Oh shit!!!!
Russell-Moyle was protesting Theresa May’s Conservative Party government, which is still trying to forge ahead with Brexit. May called off a key vote in the process earlier today because, in short, way too many MPs were going to vote against her. Russell-Moyle was immediately thrown out of the Commons chamber.
The mace is there as a symbol of the British monarchy’s authority, which means that grabbing it is a giant no-no and also the most punk rock thing you can possibly do if you are mad about something in Parliament. The last person to do it was the Labour Party’s John McDonnell back in 2009, when he got too mad about Heathrow airport. British people (nerds) take this very seriously. My take? Congress should also have a mace. Why don’t we have a mace? I know we threw off the king and all in 1776 but it would be cool to still have a mace to grab in protest.
Update 6:00 p.m. ET: Several commenters have pointed out that Congress DOES have a mace! Wow. The House of Representatives has one that is also a symbol of the government’s authority and was created by a silversmith in 1842. But has anyone tried to grab it? It appears not. The Sergeant-at-Arms can threaten to “present the mace” if someone is out of order, which this New York Times article says almost happened in 1994 when Maxine Waters got real salty at Peter King for being rude to a female White House aide. Waters should have grabbed the mace herself, imo. What happens when you grab our mace? Someone should try!