NL Interview: Derek O’ Brien on what goes on inside Parliament, coronavirus crisis, and violence in Bengal

And how he still uses quiz cards as cue cards for his speeches in the Rajya Sabha.

WrittenBy:NL Team
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Derek O’ Brien is a Rajya Sabha MP from the Trinamool Congress and author of the book Inside Parliament. He joins Meghnad S to talk about politics and how it’s working as a parliamentarian.

Giving a speech in the Parliament is “10 times more difficult than researching a quiz”, argues the former quiz master. That is because “if you only give rhetoric, nobody will believe you.” He, however, still uses quiz cards as cue cards while speaking in the Parliament.

In the wake of the coronavirus crisis which has shut down even the Parliament, it has become imperative to address what a parliamentarian can do for their constituency, he says, adding that he has “never worked so hard as an MP as in the last three weeks”.

On parliamentary disruptions, the MP argues that they are “part of the process”. In looking at disruptions, it is essential to understand where they are coming from, he explains, for while the opposition might “have its say, the government will always have its way”. Connecting this to the coronavirus crisis, he notes that the Parliament spent less than four percent of its time in March discussing the pandemic.


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