While it’s terribly impolite behaviour, it was nice to see Lloyd Russell-Moyle grab the ceremonial mace in the House of Commons yesterday, in protest at Theresa May’s delays. It’s been a while since someone wielded the mace.
Instances of this happening seem to be getting a little more common, more or less. According to Wikipedia it’s happened in 1653, 1930, 1976, 1988, 2009 and 2018. Which means the gaps between wielding are 277, 46, 12, 21, and 9 years.
I’d forgotten John McDonnell did it in 2009, and I was only aware Michael Heseltine (1976) did it in retrospect, rather than at the time. Obviously, Oliver Cromwell (1653) and John Beckett (1930) were well before my time.
For me, Ron Brown, who threw the mace to the floor in protest at the Poll Tax in 1988, is my Mace Wielder, in much the same way everyone has their Doctor Who (Tom Baker, since you ask). Maybe the next regeneration of the Mace Wielder will be a woman? Or not white? We’ll wait for the next season…