It was a winning British mixture of tradition, sarcasm and extraordinary silliness. Committee room ten was the scene for the private members' bill raffle this morning, in which backbenchers cross their fingers and hope they'll be selected to carry a bill forward to its near-inevitable demise in the Commons chamber.
It was seriously good fun. Deputy speaker Lindsay Hoyle, whose reputation in parliament is rising by the day, played up to the occasion well. Beside him, David Natzler, clerk of legislation, shuffling some crunched up bits of paper around an ornate black box. It really was that simple: it was like The National Lottery Presents: The Great Reform Act of 1832.
Perhaps we should use raffles for all political debates. It's as if politics was conducted by the Dice Man. Get a two and we'll integrate social care with the NHS. Get a four and we'll use baby's fingers as a new form of currency. It would liven Westminster up a bit.
Natzler shuffled the bits of paper around. "Number 20,"Read More »from The great eurosceptic raffle