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Intriguing start to Speaker ballot

Nick Robinson | 18:42 UK time, Monday, 22 June 2009

The first round of voting confirmed my first impressions of the Speaker hustings. Sir George Young did better than many expected.

The vote confirmed John Bercow as the man to beat although Margaret Beckett did much worse than many had anticipated.

Mr Bercow's performance reminded many MPs I've spoken to why they had never planned to back him. It alienated a few that were planning to.

Sir George Young's witty and politically astute speech wooed a few who'd not previously been tempted to back him.

For Young to win, a lot of Labour and Lib Dem MPs will have to hold their nose and vote for someone they regard as "a Tory toff". What's more, the Tories cannot afford to be split between Young and Beckett backers.

Intriguing.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Sir George Young sounds like an Establishment type to me ...

  • Comment number 2.

    Election by default cannot produce good results.

  • Comment number 3.

    Beckett gone. Down to the Tory Two. Young tipped to top the poll.

    Eton rules! Boris, Dave and George.

    After 12 years of NuLab, it's a social revolution!





  • Comment number 4.

    Nick,

    A quick trawl on the internet shows that a rather large amount of Labour and Lib Dems would be classifed as 'toffs', indeed with the amount of tax payers money that so many MPs of all parties have taken, it would be hard put to find any MP who would not be classified as a 'toff'.

    Perhaps you could tell me how many houses you require before you are no longer classed as a socialist?.

  • Comment number 5.

    Bercow the Nu Labour placeman in Tory clothing.

    Almost as clever as he thinks he is.

    If elected will please the Government benches and continue a pro-Brown Speaker stance.

  • Comment number 6.

    Old Tories will never vote for Bercow. One is reminded of the rather sniffy put-down of Hesseltine when he stood for party leader:

    "I don't know about that Hesseltine fellow; looks to me like the kind of chap who combs his hair in public."

    Bercow, too, has that quality.

    George, obviously, doesn't.

    On such matters are the great decisions of state made.

  • Comment number 7.

    So it's between a so called 'toff' and a 'spiv'.

    There are some really nice 'toffs' but I haven't met many nice 'spivs

    The two remaining candidates are chalk and cheese but I know which one I prefer.

  • Comment number 8.

    Presumably not the virtualsilvergentleman?

  • Comment number 9.

    Bercow appeared on a recent episode of 'Have I got News For You', just before the MPs expenses scandal broke. Whilst being questioned about his own expenses, he responded with the line 'Its just great...isn't it'.

    They're all really just extracting the urine out of us.

  • Comment number 10.

    I like the way these ar5eholes have these high profile events in the evenings/night...just to give the fake impression that they work so hard on our behalves...'putting in the hours'...what Trojans! Yet, in reality, they p1ss-off for half the year on holidays or recess. At our expense.

  • Comment number 11.

    9

    "Bercow appeared on a recent episode of 'Have I got News For You', just before the MPs expenses scandal broke. Whilst being questioned about his own expenses, he responded with the line 'Its just great...isn't it'."

    ================================
    Wasn't that Alan Duncan ????

  • Comment number 12.

    Bercow won, so that is the Government satsfied, they set out to try to put Cameron's nose out of joint. What a way to run a 'brewery'.
    I am now just waiting for the new Speaker to cross the floor of the house, then all the 'peoples' predictions will be correct.
    As suspected, the choice of the people, Anne Widdecombe, lost out after the first round, so much for our choice. They still do not get it, do they?

  • Comment number 13.

    #11 StrictlyPickled

    Wasn't that Alan Duncan ????

    --------------

    I honestly don't think it matters!

  • Comment number 14.

    #10. At 8:26pm on 22 Jun 2009, BankSlickerminustheR wrote:

    "Yet, in reality, they p1ss-off for half the year on holidays or recess. At our expense."

    Said like a true person, someone who is clueless as to what MPs actually do, I suppose you also think that Teachers have the same number of days holiday as school kids do - has it never occurred to you that just because the Parliament isn't sitting the work of an MP doesn't stop, just as the work of a Teacher doesn't stop just because there are no kids in school.

  • Comment number 15.

    StrictlyPickled, you are correct it was indeed Alan Duncan who spoke those idiotic words.

    As for Bercow his previous form should have automatically removed him from being considered as the next Speaker of the HoC.

  • Comment number 16.

    so this is the start of the "new era of openness and reform".....really?.. a speaker elected by labour mp's purely as a snub to the conservatives.....they still dont get it do they...vote the lot of them out of office!

  • Comment number 17.

    George Young is the ideal candidate. His background has made him used to eccentric uniforms, dress codes and traditions, so he will fit into the role more easily than his predecessor. He is more mature than his immediate rival, so, hopefully, he will be able to mediate effectively in heated debates.
    My money goes on him. Who is running the book?

  • Comment number 18.

    #12
    John "flipper" Bercow does not need to cross the floor of the house now. He can do all his spanner in the works easily as Speaker. We certainly did not get a Conservative or impartiality in this important position.

    This is the Commons "answer" to the clean up required by public opinion.

    Mr Vaz and Sir Stuart Bell are lauding the new Speaker already so that tells you most of what we need to know.

    Please someone stand against him in the next distant election.

  • Comment number 19.

    Bercow has one thing going for him, nobody seems to like him. So unless he wants to be liked he wont be giving favours.

    Dint think much of his acceptance speech, "the vast majority of MPs....not to feather their own nests" !!!! Oh yes ?

  • Comment number 20.

    #12. At 9:11pm on 22 Jun 2009, b-b-jack wrote:

    "I am now just waiting for the new Speaker to cross the floor of the house, then all the 'peoples' predictions will be correct."

    Little chance of that happening now...

  • Comment number 21.

    #13. At 9:13pm on 22 Jun 2009, BankSlickerminustheR wrote:


    "I honestly don't think it matters!"

    Well it does if you are going to accuse someone of something that haven't done...

  • Comment number 22.

    So Bercow has drawn the short straw! Good luck to him... I would have lost my bet! Not for the first time.

  • Comment number 23.

    #15. At 9:15pm on 22 Jun 2009, Rustigjongens wrote:

    "As for Bercow his previous form should have automatically removed him from being considered as the next Speaker of the HoC."

    Time will tell, but if someone who has 'travelled a political journey' whilst being an MP is to be prevented from holding high-office then this country will have already been the worse for it - remind me, how many times did Winston Churchill (the one that was PM) cross the floor of the house and change political allegiance?...

  • Comment number 24.

    #16

    "they still dont get it do they..."

    No, I really don't think the average member of the public do...

  • Comment number 25.

    Labour are so happy you just can't wipe the smile off their faces.

    They've upset the Tories by using their majority to vote in Bercow.

    I think some of the woollie liberals helped but isn't that just typical. You just never know where you stand with the liberals.

    Looks like Labour thinks his appointment will kick the whole expenses saga into touch until after the next election.

    I always thought the run up to the next general election would be one of the dirtiest and most unscrupulous on record.

    So far I have not been disappointed.

  • Comment number 26.

    ~17. At 9:26pm on 22 Jun 2009, newtactic wrote:

    "My money goes on him. Who is running the book?"

    Bit late, all books are closed, in fact they are paying out - Barcow is the new Speaker, and has been for nearly an hour before you posted that comment! :-)

  • Comment number 27.

    I can't help laughing. Labour have got one over the Tories again. Keep it up Gordon. For 4th as the election campaign says.

  • Comment number 28.

    well he seems okay I suppose, we'll see - far more importantly, it looks like monster bonuses are back in the City already - incroyable! - why can we not get a grip on these guys? - would be a big vote winner too, capping these stoopid remuneration levels which have precisely nothing to do with hard work, talent or real business building - and don't tell me it's not possible, or "they" would all go overseas - for the birds - I despair of this country sometimes, I really do - great place to make a ton of money doing nothing, great place to spend your ill gotten gains on sending your miniatures to ridiculous toff factories - god

  • Comment number 29.

    Sadly another bad night for the House of Commons.

    First, Brown, fresh from the debacle over the secret Iraq enquiry, decides to move the whips in to make labour MPs vote for Beckett, its a secret ballot, they don't vote for her in any number, Brown's authority is again holed beneath the waterline.

    Then in the final round, its pretty clear that Beckett's supporters switch to Bercow, so he is voted in by labour and lib dems, whilst his own party vote for someone else. Tory sources are already talking about trying to oust Bercow after the election if they win.

    This gives the public no trust in the House of Commons, again they are voting for self interest. I guess though MPs really voting for reform is about as likely as Turkeys voting for Christmas.

  • Comment number 30.

    On the language of the Approbation....

    I was expecting that the 'pantomime' in the Lords would have included at least some Norman French - instead the 'Royal Approbation' was in a sort of false legalese that is designed to sound pompous and out of touch with the men and women of Britain. Far better if they had stuck to the Norman French! The language that they did employ did very little except make the whole business sound and look like a Doyle Carte operetta!

    And what was all that hat doffing about! The female Royal Commissioners just looked uneasy and squirmed when the men removed their hats three times in response to the bows of the new speaker.

    Was this really a good way to introduce a new speaker who must take a firm grip on the house and tidy up it administration and expenses?

  • Comment number 31.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 32.

    #28. At 10:23pm on 22 Jun 2009, sagamix wrote:

    "I despair of this country sometimes, I really do - great place to make a ton of money doing nothing, great place to spend your ill gotten gains on sending your miniatures to ridiculous toff factories"

    I really love these sorts of 'rants', based on nothing more than the pure emotion of envy and the old mantle of 'Well I 'ant got no chance so why should others', it just cuts these people down to their real class based opinions every time... No doubt you will be objecting to the increased salary that Speaker Barcow will be receiving too.

  • Comment number 33.

    #21 Boilerplated

    Well it does if you are going to accuse someone of something that they haven't done...

    ---------

    Priceless!

    Bercow is the man that made GBP300,000 by house flipping...and when asked 'did you pay capital gains tax on this amount'...he replied 'I can't remember!'

  • Comment number 34.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 35.

    #14 Boilerplated

    "Yet, in reality, they p1ss-off for half the year on holidays or recess. At our expense."

    Said like a true person, someone who is clueless as to what MPs actually do

    ------------------

    No, no, no...Boilerplated!...you misunderstood what I was saying!...I want them to p***-off full-time.

    Then they would be worth every penny.

  • Comment number 36.

    @ 26 Boilerplated
    Yes mate, I missed the news by an hour! That will teach me for going out and not putting the telly or the radio on.
    I hear they are already talking about ousting Bercow if they don't like him. They've rewritten the rule book for ousting speakers... sorry squeakers... in Animal Farm.

  • Comment number 37.

    boiler @ 32

    strange response! ... why does being anti public schools and anti big City bonuses constitute a "rant" driven by "envy" - are those 2 things so self evidently good, in your book ... you know, like motherhood and apple pie ... that it's not possible for a rational person to oppose them?

  • Comment number 38.

    My God, have these MPs learnt nothing?! From the outside, looking in (watching the BBC's live stream), it was a pathetic, partisan pantomime. At one point there was a wide shot of the House and our assembled reps and I swear it looked like a cross between the Senate in the Planet of the Apes and a herd of swine trampling a garbage mound. Truffles all round, oink, oink!

  • Comment number 39.

    The BBC seem to have missed it (watching their response to Bercows election) but the other news media havnt, Sky and ITV news have called it for what it is why the BBC havnt is anyone's guess


    this was a complete shambles, partisan vindictive, it looks like he may have only got as few as tory votes

    and this is the unifying candidate who will clean up parliament?

    a shameful night

  • Comment number 40.

    Re: the closed out Stephanomics blog tonight...

    What's the point of having a blog if all the posts are moderated out?

    So much for free speech!...I am sure neither posters included obescenities or expletives?

    Just what is the BBC trying to hide/surpress???

  • Comment number 41.

    #25 "25. At 9:44pm on 22 Jun 2009, virtualsilverlady wrote:
    .....
    I think some of the woollie liberals helped but isn't that just typical. You just never know where you stand with the liberals.


    This vote shows you don't know where you stand with anyone.

    As an old leftie with liberal tendencies I would have gone for Young or (preferably) Doris. Why? because I think they're both articulate and incorruptible (except for a little vanity maybe). Bercow? ugh!: marginally better than Margaret Beckett, but the office has again been demeaned.

    I don't think he'll survive as Speaker into the next Parliament anyway, but it WOULD be interesting if the Tories or Libs decided to put up a candidate against him at the General Election. Or maybe the Telegraph is holding back more juicy secrets?

    This soap-opera has mileage in it yet!

  • Comment number 42.

    The last act of a totally discredited and corrupt party, I cannot believe they have voted for this pygmy with very few ideals

  • Comment number 43.

    It's clear Labour have followed their one-dimensional class warrior instincts on this one. They show each day how corrupt they are. Judgement Day is coming for them.

  • Comment number 44.

    Dear Saga,

    I too despair of the country but for a slightly different reason and perspective. I have not seen such polarisation of views emerging in politics since the 1970s. It is not a good thing. We have the emergent BNP and the constant references to toffs. That is not the socialism I stand for in any way shape or form. Constant references to toffs is just opening a fault line in society based on greed and jealousy. That is not socialism. It is a poor argument to say do 'not vote for someone because they are a toff'. Move on. The people just might have half a brain. This social polarisation is all the Prime Minister has left in his locker to bring back the traditional 'core' voters [and it will bar those, like me, who are frankly sick to death of spin and misspeak].

    Oh dear, oh dear, one of the legacies of 12 years of socialism and the economic melt down that has occurred on their watch is a country where racial tensions are now worse than ever, where schools turn out children who pefer to think they can win personality shows and become a celebrity rather than innovate and make money from creating new industries and enterprises [how many times have I heard someone say to me; I didn't do school, it wasn't right for me] and where good old fashioned class divide rears its head.

    Personally I think the £9.6M potential payout for the banker who is running RBS is ridiculous in an extreme given the circumstances. Such money no one is worth. Cap salaries at £250k tops including bonus payments. That is socialism. NOT a feeding frenzy supported by a Labour Government - what were they thinking? That by cosying up to bankers you could get the money to help programs aimed at social mobility? Oh dear.....wrong idea totally....bankers are driven by greed, bigger houses, bigger cars,....they do not get social mobility.

    I was watching Bremner, Bird and Fortune the other night and they seemed to forecast this, playing back sketches that seemed to be to be right on the button over the last five years. It was there, we just did not see it. Now we have a so-called new speaker. Oh dear......not a good night for Parliament again, totally out of touch in their Westminster bubble!! Change cannot come soon enough, I fear for our future for so many reasons. Despair....yes I felt it last night when I saw who had been elected as our new speaker.......will they ever learn?

  • Comment number 45.

    37. At 11:02pm on 22 Jun 2009, sagamix wrote:
    boiler @ 32

    strange response! ... why does being anti public schools and anti big City bonuses constitute a "rant" driven by "envy" - are those 2 things so self evidently good, in your book ... you know, like motherhood and apple pie ... that it's not possible for a rational person to oppose them?

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Just out of interest why are you "anti public schools" ? also are you just anti bonus or is it just anti "big " city bonuses ?

  • Comment number 46.

    Instead of ranting on by believing the latest rumour that supports your point of view, wouldn't it be better to think about what is needed to improve our political system. Just as lots of people hoped that replacing Major with Blair would be a new dawn and were let down, I have seen nothing that makes me believe that Cameron's inevitable triumph will result in the necessary changes to our political structures.

    The only thing I know about the new speaker is that he is a bit of a maverick; he is unpredictable. He needs to shake the whole lot of them to the core. First he needs to change the atmosphere in the chamber itself. Can anyone really accept that the high spot of the week is a pathetic imitation of Bremner, Bird and Fortune called PMQ? Yes, there is serious (if poorly attended) debate, but PMQ sets the tone for the work of our MPs. Sorting that out will eat away at the 'kids in a sweet shop' attitude to expenses and a lot of the naming calling and clever (who's kidding who?) attacks they make on each other - describing it as informed political debate.

    As for how he got elected or who voted for him, who cares? It is what he does now and in the future which matters. Oh, sorry I forgot. It is being able to moan which is what really matters.

  • Comment number 47.

    Wednesday PMQs should be ditched and replaced by serious questioning of Government policy. At the moment this convention is just a farce and ends up as a shouting match where making party political points is more important than providing real answers. Members should be called by their proper names and the phrases 'this place' and 'the other place' should be consigned to the recycle bin. Voting should join the 21st Century and be electronic and policy statements by The P.M. or other Ministers should be confined to The House of Commons so that they can be properly debated. MPs salaries should be raised on a once and for all basis and reviewed by an independent panel every year taking into into account current economic restraints so that never again can expenses be used as an excuse to boost inadequate income. I would like The House of Commons to be rebuilt in the round so that confrontation is less likely to happen during the normal course of House business. As all the Speaker candidates alluded to yesterday I think power should be given back to backbenchers to influence policy decisions. At the moment it is only a small cabal of inner circle MPs who are able to drive reform. I would also like to see Ministers quizzed on a regular basis by carefully chosen small groups of ordinary voters and brought to account if they fail in their duty to The People.

  • Comment number 48.

    27. wasowenright wrote:

    I can't help laughing. Labour have got one over the Tories again. Keep it up Gordon. For 4th as the election campaign says.

    =

    It is amusing, but sad nonetheless. There were other candidates who held a higher moral ground and who were more suitable for a variety of reasons, but the mob decided to continue playing party politics.
    Nothing has changed and nothing will unless the electorate gives all the major parties a kicking in the next election.
    BTW isn't it Go 4th?

  • Comment number 49.

    You just can't win can you.

    All the moans on here that Martin was the second Labour speaker in a row, partisan choice etc blah blah Zanu Labour blah.

    So a Tory is voted as speaker, yes a member of the Tory Party, holder of a safe Tory Seat, selected by a local Tory Committee, receiver of the Tory Whip, signatory to the Tory Manifesto and member of the Tory 1922 committee!!! What's the response?

    "...partisan choice etc blah blah Zanu Labour blah."


    You couldn't make it up this blog, the retreat of the permanently wronged, the Mail reading Mr and Mrs Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells no doubt devouring Quentin Letts' column this morning.

    Perhaps of course he is the wrong "type" of Tory wheras Sir George Young was the right type? the right sort of family, good "schooling" and all that?

    Already a lot of talk of Bercow being ousted after the next election!!

    Tories Politicising the role of Speaker like under Boris they've politicised the Met Police in London!!

    The most extreme right wing of all Governments awaits under Cameron (IMO)...Thatcher will be eclipsed.


  • Comment number 50.

    "witty and politically astute"

    Is that all it takes to win votes?

    How well do MPs know about the deeds, thoughts and real intentions of the candidiates?

    Promises and speeches are just words, words wind.

  • Comment number 51.

    What a shame that Margot Beckett (pronounced Beh-kay) missed the role of speaker so narrowly...

    Her widely leaked plans to put hanging baskets around the speaker's chair was one of the finest potential acts of reform there could have been.

    Parliament will be the loser for having thrown away the chance to have this fine woman, her hanging baskets and her jolly caravan holidays as its new speaker.

    Rather than being dragged reluctantly to the speaker's chair, Ms Beh-kay will now be dragging down the awnings on the side of her caravan.

  • Comment number 52.

    51. At 09:10am on 23 Jun 2009, RobinJD wrote:
    What a shame that Margot Beckett (pronounced Beh-kay) missed the role of speaker so narrowly...

    Her widely leaked plans to put hanging baskets around the speaker's chair was one of the finest potential acts of reform there could have been.

    Parliament will be the loser for having thrown away the chance to have this fine woman, her hanging baskets and her jolly caravan holidays as its new speaker.

    Rather than being dragged reluctantly to the speaker's chair, Ms Beh-kay will now be dragging down the awnings on the side of her caravan.

    ======================================================================

    I thought she'd be off on gardening leave.

  • Comment number 53.

    So, the Speaker is chosen not so much for what is good for political process, but by who will get most discomfited (mainly by Labour MPs being interested more in sticking it to the Conservatives and their own leader).

    Meanwhile, outside the bubble....

  • Comment number 54.

    Woops, Bercow won and the Tories are reputed as already plotting to unseat him.

    Unpopular left leaning Bercow?

    Still, 'tis only a temp. appointment isn't it? Extremely well remunerated though!

  • Comment number 55.

    @John_from_Hendon

    I must agree. And I do object to the Speaker having to be approved by the Monarch and all the bowing and scraping to the peers reminded all us Commoners of our place.

    The Speaker is the principal representative of the HoC and thus of all of us not in the Lords. S/he should not grovel before the two other arms of the State

    PS
    Didn't Straw look a prat as "chancellor". Admittedly the Woolsack is, I believe, outside of the HoL legally, he has still tied himself into a pantomime

  • Comment number 56.

    I met MARY WHITEHOUSE - now there would have been an excellent speaker.

    She was like me grandma! She was an excellent orator and pulled no punches.

    They don't make them like here any more. Bercow looks a little timid and, dare I say, not in too good health.

  • Comment number 57.

    I see from Wiki. that he is the first Jewish speaker ever and that his wife turned from Conservative to Labour.

    Hold on for a bumpy ride.

  • Comment number 58.

    'The most extreme right wing of all Governments awaits under Cameron (IMO)...Thatcher will be eclipsed.'

    Yes and it's nuLabour that's to blame for that too.

  • Comment number 59.

    There's something remarkably graceless about the Tory reaction - in particular Cameron's rather snide speech. (Don't they teach them anything about manners at Eton?)

    As for the talk about getting rid of Bercow after the next election - that's hardly going to inspire the general public that politicians are turning over a new leaf is it.

  • Comment number 60.

    And we cross over live to the debate on the modernisation of the House of Commons..

    "Order, order, excuse me a minute while I put on my robe, wig, clown shoes and sit on the 'farting cushion of power"

    "hear, hear"

    "Mooooooooo"

    "Cockadoodledooooooo"

    "Order, order, the first question from the Right Honourable, Grand Vizier, Panjab, allseeing eye, Most Holy Minister for Tassles on Cushions"

    "Thank you, Mr Speaker, Wouldn't the Prime Minsier agree that if he were asked, whether he would if it were suggested to him agree to the question being raised in time for a response to be given before an answer could be confirmed on the whole issue?"

    "Point of order, Mr Speaker, the question has been asked but the Minister's tie is done up in a Windsor knot and not a half-Windsor knot"

    "order, order, I did observe this but the Minister was standing on one leg and this is the first Tuesday after the last full moon so he is in fact properly dressed"

    "hear hear"

    "hoorah"

    "Harrrumph"

    etc etc etc

  • Comment number 61.

    #55. At 09:41am on 23 Jun 2009, invocator wrote:

    "The Speaker is the principal representative of the HoC and thus of all of us not in the Lords. S/he should not grovel before the two other arms of the State"

    I didn't see him do much 'grovelling', indeed with all the hat removal etc. I would say that most were grovelling towards the new Speaker, even Black Rod still gets the door slammed in his face as he approaches the HoC!...

  • Comment number 62.

    #56. At 09:43am on 23 Jun 2009, flamepatricia wrote:

    "I met MARY WHITEHOUSE - now there would have been an excellent speaker.

    She was like me grandma! She was an excellent orator and pulled no punches."


    And there I was thinking people wanted to modernise parliment...

  • Comment number 63.

    Oh dear, I would - if I were in the House - prefer the bumling old, well intentioned, kindly, red faced, Dickensian character of Speaker Martin.

    I see something unseemly and untraditional in the way Bercow rushed down to take his place. And it was obvious a political move of Labour to vote him in.

    Dear dear, Something's up in the State of Westminster. Glad I am NOT there.

  • Comment number 64.

    #59. At 09:52am on 23 Jun 2009, MarkofSOSH wrote:

    "There's something remarkably graceless about the Tory reaction - in particular Cameron's rather snide speech. (Don't they teach them anything about manners at Eton?)"

    It was no more snide than a wet flannel, in fact Brown's comments were probably far more 'cutting'.

  • Comment number 65.

    Still they don't get it.

    The new speaker is one of their own.
    Where is the promised reform?

    Bercow has a grubby snout.
    I sincerely hope the Tories boot him out.

    Despite being a Tory, Bercow is a labour plant.
    The Brownite whips where unleashed; Labour MPs danced to the tune of their lash.

    Tap Tap Tap.
    The final nail is hammered in.
    Government of the people, by the people and for the people is a rotting carcass.
    RIP Honour
    RIP Justice
    RIP democracy.

    Long live Brown in all his corpulent, charnel, putrid and pustulent glory.

  • Comment number 66.

    #63. At 10:06am on 23 Jun 2009, flamepatricia wrote:

    "I see something unseemly and untraditional in the way Bercow rushed down to take his place. And it was obvious a political move of Labour to vote him in."

    Funny that I seem to recall, whilst watching BBC Parliament, that he was quite reluctant to move, until lifted to his feet by the right arm, then pushed along pasted his fellow MPs, only to be pulled down the stairs and along past the despatch box and into the speakers chair. Perhaps I need to pay more attention, and perhaps have a tipple of some concoction just to help the memory along you understand...

  • Comment number 67.

    @Boilerplated

    he still had to ask for permission to be appointed! And while it is a formality, it does put the Commons in its place!

  • Comment number 68.

    #65. At 10:11am on 23 Jun 2009, Invader-Zim wrote:

    "Still they don't get it."

    No, some of the public still do not get it...

    "The new speaker is one of their own.
    Where is the promised reform?


    Who else where they meant to elect, considering that the constitution/law requires them to select someone from sitting MPs, now should they wish to change that so that an unelected commoner could be elected...

    "Bercow has a grubby snout.
    I sincerely hope the Tories boot him out."


    As you said, some people just still don't get it, they have no need to do anything like that - why - because on taking office a new Speaker is required to renounce his or her political affiliations, in other words Speaker Bercow has already left the Tory party.

  • Comment number 69.

    #67. At 10:31am on 23 Jun 2009, invocator wrote:

    "@Boilerplated

    he still had to ask for permission to be appointed! And while it is a formality, it does put the Commons in its place!


    I disagree, the fact that is IS a formality means that actually the Commons are very much putting both the Lords and the Monarch in their places - if the monarch (or indeed the Lords) refused then the Commons actually has the power to pass a law to abolish the Lords and/or Monarch!...

  • Comment number 70.

    On first impressions I'm not overly impressed by the new Speaker aside from the fact that like myself he plays a mean game of tennis. The stories of vanity, expenses fiddling and near conversion to Nu Labour are concerning but I'm willing to give him a chance. The status of Parliament could hardly be any worse at the moment. He may prove to be the catalyst for change. Let's just wait and see. Much like Cameron when his chance eventually comes the proof of the pudding will be in the eating.

  • Comment number 71.

    Ha sanyone who spends their time making comments here about MPs and the speaker, ever wondered what these same MPs would say about the way we do our jobs?

  • Comment number 72.

    44. At 06:25am on 23 Jun 2009, IslandDoctor wrote:

    ...Oh dear, oh dear, one of the legacies of 12 years of socialism...

    Sorry, where exactly was that happening?

  • Comment number 73.

    57. At 09:47am on 23 Jun 2009, flamepatricia wrote:
    I see from Wiki. that he is the first Jewish speaker ever and that his wife turned from Conservative to Labour.

    Hold on for a bumpy ride.


    Not sure I entirely understand that - it seems just a tad non sequitur. Would you expand your idea?

  • Comment number 74.

    #70:
    I didn't realise that one of his claims was for clearing a sanitary towel from a blocked loo. How utterly embarrassing for the poor man!

  • Comment number 75.

    island @ 44

    I pretty much agree with all of that - apart from your view that class is a dead issue - one day, I hope, but not yet by a long chalk

    ... which leads me neatly into answering ghost @ 45 regarding public schools and city bonuses

    public schools first - they're one of the major things preventing class becoming a dead issue, in that they propagate unearned privilege through the generations - they institutionalise it, make it structural to our society - they're a toxin - my view is based on cool reason, not on envy - the end of public schools would be good for everyone, most especially the "toffs" (sorry Island!) - at present, nobody can take a toff's achievements in life seriously because we all know they've effectively cheated - let's liberate them from that, shall we?

    and the bonuses? - yes, absolutely, it's just the silly money ones trousered by the big bosses, and more generally in the front office, which need to be stopped - no problem with a settlements clerk taking an extra few thousand back to Essex (or wherever) at Christmas time

  • Comment number 76.

    75. At 8:36pm on 23 Jun 2009, sagamix wrote:
    island @ 44

    I pretty much agree with all of that - apart from your view that class is a dead issue - one day, I hope, but not yet by a long chalk

    ... which leads me neatly into answering ghost @ 45 regarding public schools and city bonuses

    public schools first - they're one of the major things preventing class becoming a dead issue, in that they propagate unearned privilege through the generations - they institutionalise it, make it structural to our society - they're a toxin - my view is based on cool reason, not on envy - the end of public schools would be good for everyone, most especially the "toffs" (sorry Island!) - at present, nobody can take a toff's achievements in life seriously because we all know they've effectively cheated - let's liberate them from that, shall we?

    and the bonuses? - yes, absolutely, it's just the silly money ones trousered by the big bosses, and more generally in the front office, which need to be stopped - no problem with a settlements clerk taking an extra few thousand back to Essex (or wherever) at Christmas time

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    Hello

    I do agree with your bonus points. Although i can not agree with your views on private education, your view appears to be stuck in the old days when it actually was the preserve of the few. Many people send their kids to private schools with no previous backround of privilege or otherwise, they do through hard work, plus i feel uncomfortable with the fact you appear to want to deny a persons choice merely because you don't believe they should have a choice by your standards

  • Comment number 77.

    @ 76

    yes, it's a real infringement of personal freedoms, I do realise that - am not normally an "End justifies the Means" sort of a guy but, in this case, I am because the ends are so very noble

  • Comment number 78.

    77

    Well, obviously you are perfectly entitled to your view and i respect your view, but i still can not agree no matter how possibly noble it may appear. Best to agree to disagree on this one.

 

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