“Some Hon. Members”

The recorded title in Hansard for unspecified speakers in the House of Commons, and a euphemistic handle for hecklers and malcontents.

The moniker “Some Hon. Members” derives from the House rule that MPs must address each other as “the Honourable Member opposite.” No rule prohibits MPs from pausing on the word honourable to lend it a more ironic tone, often making it more putdown than praise. 

The same title is often used in official transcripts of House debates to capture outbursts by MPs using unparliamentary language. “Oh, oh!” is an understated classic. In 2011, when then-opposition MP Justin Trudeau called the Hon. Peter Kent, Environment Minister in the Harper government, a “piece of shit” during Question Period, the written record stated simply: “Some Hon. Members: Oh, oh!” Subtle it was not, unlike the famous Fuddle Duddle mouthed by Justin’s dad in a heated Question Period in 1971.

The advent of virtual Parliament debates during the COVID-19 pandemic curtailed the ability of MPs to lob “Oh, oh!” slurs at their opponents. And while MPs might curse just as loudly from their home offices, the mute button at least temporarily improved the recorded behaviour of “Some Hon. Members.”

(In the U.S. Congressional context, the phrase “my good friend” can be used to similar effect.)

Image source: CBC

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