According to a recent article in The Telegraph, photographers from the Assembly's press balcony caught several, including ministers, playing poker, ordering clothes, reading adult cartoons etc on their tablets and mobiles in the chamber sessions instead of lawmaking. Below are parts from The Telegraph's article.
Danièle Hoffmann, Socialist MP for Paris admitted to reading the papers via her tablet. "It's very practical. We're totally up to date and will soon receive amendments directly online, which will be progress," she told Le Parisien (a French newspaper).
Such distractions are apparently tolerated by Claude Bartolone, the Assembly's new Socialist speaker, who has declined to use the scrambling device installed by one of his conservative predecessors, Jean-Louis Debré.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph a few days ago, Mr Debré - now president of France's constitutional council, the country's highest constituional body - was appalled at the laisser-faire attitude.
"One doesn't elect representatives of the people for them to turn up and play cards. In that case, I'd frankly rather they didn't show up at all.
It's execrable for democracy," he said. "When debating a bill, an MP must be alone with his conscience and his ideas." He said he was "all for mobiles and computers anywhere else in parliament" and dismissed claims that it would be unfeasible to scramble only the debating chamber.