IT WOULD be reasonable to expect MPs and AMs, the people elected to represent us, to uphold certain modes of good, respectful behaviour.

Sadly, in Parliament at least, this is often far from the case.

Watch proceedings in the House of Commons for any length of time and you’ll be treated to the pathetic sight of MPs of all colours braying and hackling like sugared-up schoolchildren. It’s no wonder so many are turned anyone off politics.

It’s not as if they’re responsible for running the health service or deciding whether to put British lives on the line in some foreign country or anything important like that.

Thankfully exchanges in the Senedd are generally far more measured.

There’s certainly a fair share of barbs traded in Cardiff Bay and First Minister’s Questions can often get pretty heated, but compared to proceedings in Parliament it’s about as bad-tempered as a WI cake sale.

It says a lot that people still remember the time Leanne Wood, then a lowly backbench AM, was told to leave the chamber after referring to the Queen as “Mrs Windsor” - and that was 14 years ago.

But it’s true that tempers have flared a bit more than usual recently following the Welsh Government’s agreement with Westminster over the Brexit Bill, culminating in a particularly fractious First Minister’s Questions a few weeks back which descended into a shouting match.

And last week Ms Wood, having apparently decided enough is enough, wrote to Carwyn Jones complaining about the tone taken by ministers in the Assembly - particularly towards female opposition AMs.

The straw that broke the camel’s back seems to have been when the first minister compared Ms Wood to current right-wing poster boy Jacob Rees-Mogg.

In Parliament this sort of comparison wouldn’t have been brushed off as coming with the territory, but it’s true that it’s a bit more rare for the first minister or any member of his cabinet to resort to personal attacks.

There are certainly one or two ministers who seem to take a delight in winding up opposition AMs, and there are those on the opposition benches who seem to spend more time than is healthy thinking up colourful new barbs to throw at the front benches.

But one person’s unacceptable personal attacks are another’s robust debate.

Ebbw Vale’s Alun Davies, also the Welsh Government’s local government and public services secretary, is particularly known as one who doesn’t mince his words, and it was comments towards Plaid Cymru’s Bethan Sayed in which he said she was “confused” and “doesn’t wish to listen” which also prompted Ms Wood’s letter.

It’s true that the past few weeks and months have seen an increasingly fractious tone arise in the Senedd, hardly helped at least by the EU Withdrawal Bill agreement - seen by Plaid Cymru as a betrayal by a Welsh Government which, they thought, saw eye-to-eye with them over the impact of Brexit.

And it’s true that part of being a politician is being able to brush off personal attacks and weather criticism.

But then just because that’s what we see in Parliament doesn’t mean the Assembly should follow suit. The Welsh Assembly has a proud record of being home to a more respectful form of politics, and it’s important this continues.