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Speaker Week Day One:

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Eddie Mair | 12:49 UK time, Monday, 15 June 2009

Only MPs can vote for a Speaker of the House of Commons, but here at PM, we're offering you the chance to vote for the best ideas on cleaning up public life and restoring faith in politics.

We're calling it Speaker Week.

We've asked four people - none of them politicians - to put forward their personal manifestos for change. You can hear them on consecutive nights, and on Friday they'll debate each other.

Then you'll be able to vote by phone for the person whose ideas you like best.

Our first guest in this Speaker Week is:


Colonel Tim Collins. You can hear his manifesto on PM tonight, and read it here on the Blog.


  • 1. At 12:56pm on 15 Jun 2009, Stewart_M wrote:

    What is his name? I do not recognise him at all.

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  • 2. At 1:42pm on 15 Jun 2009, funnyJoedunn wrote:

    Stewart M

    He is a former army officer who has continually spoken out on controversial matters on behalf of ordinary solders. He has also spoken out against this counties war mongering latterly. Controversial Subjects he has raised are the lack of solder's equipment and the lies that led us into the Iraq war, etc. I think?

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  • 3. At 1:54pm on 15 Jun 2009, Stewart_M wrote:

    Thanks Joe, I see there is a name now ;-)

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  • 4. At 2:09pm on 15 Jun 2009, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    ...best ideas on cleaning up public life and restoring faith in politics.

    Education. An educated, literate, numerate, self-aware population will not only produce people competent to govern, but will produce an electorate capable of voting responsibly and sensibly for the good of all.

    Of course, even if started tomorrow, that would take a generation to work and is therefore of no interest to most people, least of all politicians.

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  • 5. At 4:57pm on 15 Jun 2009, Charlie wrote:

    I only came to know of Colonel Collins via his eve of battle speech in Kuwait:


    I can think of no better person to lead reform of the Commons.

    Unfortunately, the Colonel cannot be Mr Speaker (this time round) but I do wish he'd stand for Parliament...

    I'll listen to the manifesto's of the other three "candidates" but my goodness, they'll need to be extraordinary to even come close to the qualities of this extraordinary man.

    We shall see...

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  • 6. At 5:21pm on 15 Jun 2009, Richard_SM wrote:

    Col. Tim Collins strikes me as someone who is still trying to come to terms with his role in the Iraq War. I don't say that as a criticism, merely an observation. His famous/infamous speech was 'strange' and contained many contradictions. Certainly not the type of speech one would have expected from a modern military officer. He was naive at that time. I shall listen to what he has to say on tonight's programme.

    Pity you didn't have Bob Ainsworth and Col.Tim Collins in the studio at the same time for a debate on the Iraq War inquiry.

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  • 7. At 6:15pm on 15 Jun 2009, needsanewnickname wrote:

    Please, no, NOT Ann Widdecombe as Speaker. Please, enough. No more.

    If I promise to eat all my greens and crusts and tidy my bedroom, please, please?

    Ah - the thought of her - ah - irritating voice - ah - given free rein - ah - in the House curdles the milk in my tea.

    But onto Tim Collins. I agree that a lot of politicians have never lived in the 'real' world (though many have, of course),

    "some of these people are leading the country without any idea of what it's like to live on planet earth."

    but take issue with this:

    "These people have never... led men into danger."

    Is this a prerequisite for a politician? Lead us out of danger, I say.

    Mind you, it does rather disqualify Miss Widdecombe, doesn't it?

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  • 8. At 6:15pm on 15 Jun 2009, elspoblets wrote:

    Posted my previous comment on the wrong blog, new to this! Tim Collins was, as before, inspiring in his appreciation of the current situation and the necessary remedy to sort out the current disengagement of parliament with the population. Excellent

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