No, “grabs the ceremonial mace” is not a euphemism for masturbation. Although it should be, let’s face it. It’s superb.
Today I learned (a) that the ceremonial mace exists and (b) the House of Commons can’t pass laws without it. It’s a physical symbol of the crown’s authority; remove that authority from the chamber and Parliament’s lawmaking power goes with it. Which raises an important question: How has there not been a Mr. Bean movie yet in which he somehow walks out of the building with the mace and the British government has to chase him all over the country to get it back so that the legislature can function again?
I’d watch the hell out of that.
Also, why hasn’t Putin captured it and held it for ransom in some Blofeld-ish plot? The Brits let him operate with impunity on their soil as it is. They’d probably agree to make prime minister if he stole the mace.
The culprit is a Labour MP with the impossibly British name of Lloyd Russell-Moyle, who was (presumably) protesting Theresa May’s decision to avoid a stinging defeat on her Brexit plan by postponing a floor vote. He had the courage of his convictions — for about 15 seconds, before an old lady stepped in front of him and demanded he hand the mace over. Which he did, raising the question of what exactly the plan here was. He was going to take the mace and leave the chamber … unless literally anyone put up the slightest modicum of resistance?
Since political junkies in this country are forever bickering about the Senate filibuster and how to reform it, I propose a compromise. Create a ceremonial mace for the Senate and let the minority party try to block legislation by stealing it and absconding with it. Only when the majority agrees to table the bill in question does the minority agree to return the mace. You wouldn’t want to watch Ted Cruz try to tackle Cory “Spartacus” Booker as he makes a mad dash for the chamber door, mace in hand? The Brits know how to do politics. We are but a pale imitation.