Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Day Speaker Martin Lost His Job

This is the moment Speaker Michael Martin lost his job.



Tory MPs are incandescent that Martin called Dennis Skinner at the end of PMQs. He must have known what he would talk about. On many occasions he has refused to let Tory MPs make similar points, but he gave Skinner carte blanche. I've had various MPs fulminating to me this afternoon, including a couple who had always wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt in the past. One told me there was no way Tory MPs would stand for him remaining in post if they form a government after the next election.

And Brown may well come to rue his reply, where he said that the appropriate authorities should investigate. I suspect that there will be other calls for Mr Mandelson's relationships with Russian Oligarchs to receive further scrutiny. Expect some action in the European Parliament to that effect.

52 comments:

Jeff said...

Fair points, one and all.

What's good for the goose is good for the, er, gander. (I'll leave you to decide which is which)

And with any luck Michael Martin will get voted out of his seat if the good people of Springburn see him for the scrounger that he is.

I have no truck with most Labour MPs. The Speaker has plumbed murky depths in these past few years though with his dodgy expenses and lavish lifestyle...

David Boothroyd said...

So the Speaker ought not to have called one of the longest-serving MPs in the House, because said MP is known to dislike (for excellent reasons) the Shadow Chancellor?

Sounds like it's Conservative MPs demanding the Speaker exhibit political bias by preventing Skinner from being called.

norman said...

The old sheet metal worker, Martin should know despite Skinner's working class accent, he is middle class in his real world dealings. Skinner junior is not working in the pits or a car factory fitter but a lawyer earning above middle class salary! Skinner junior was a legal adviser to the Labour-controlled Camden council a few years ago.

Blame Tony Benn the socialist hypocrite for spearheading Martin's election as the speaker when it was the turn for a Tory speaker. Benn, the socialist firebrand, slogging New Labour in one of his meetings, was once asked a couple of questions
from a member of the audience, some what in these lines: 'Mr Benn, are you proud of your son as a minister? Benn replied 'yes'. The questioner continued 'I understand what you are saying about Blair and New Labour. Isn't your son a minister in this Blair government?' Some one later heard a chain of expletives from the rich socialist!

Anonymous said...

According to the BBC transcript the question was asked at 12.30. Isn't the speaker supposed to call time at 12.30?


AS IT HAPPENED

Anonymous said...

Being incandescent is all very well, as long as they back it up with action NOW. Not after the election.

Take New Labour to task at every possible opportunity. Don't say "when we get in to power" etc. Surely there are parliamentary procedures that can be used to expose this crass bunch of wasters.

Have some balls. Jesus wept.

Laurence Boyce said...

Sorry Iain, I don’t understand. The only issue as far as the Speaker is concerned is whether or not the question was in order. It plainly was. You seem to be suggesting that, knowing what Skinner would say (your assumption), the Speaker should not have called him. Now that surely would have been an abuse of the chair.

ian said...

boothroyd: your faux tut-tutting is risible.

It was wrong because it demonstrated Martin's partisanship - Go on, tell us with a straight face that the clownish Martin hadn't been 'asked' in advance by the Labour whips to call Skinner and that he didn't know that the question was a plant for the Great Helmsman.

Westminster watch said...

Didn't do a full count but from memory, other than Cameron and Clegg, was 2 Conservatives, 3 Lib-Dems, 1 Plaid and about 6-7 Labour MPs called.

He has to go!

David Lindsay said...

By my reckoning, assuming that Ian Paisley doesn't stand again, Dennis Skinner is on course to be the next Father of the House.

There is a prima facie case that George Osborne either incited, or at the very least failed to prevent (or to report the incitement of), a criminal offence.

Dennis Skinner should report him to the Police.

Anonymous said...

'....if they form a government after the next election.'

Iain, you don't get it, do you. There won't be another election so they'll never be another party who can form a Government.

The whole machine, from top to bottom, is now lined up to ensure UK SUBJECTS never have the chance to vote for anyone else. The civil service, the police, the army, the media are now pawns to the Nu Labour movement.

There will not be another general election. Get used to it.

Anonymous said...

The problem, David Boothroyd, is that the three MPs all laden with their pathetic schoolboy prejudices about the Conservative Party - Martin, Skinner, Brown - were all complicit in making a cheap point about Osborne on an allegation which he has explicitly denied, and which a Labour chair of the relevant select committee refuses to look into because there is nothing to investigate.

If Brown had repeated his little jibe outside of the Chamber, the slur would have had the libel lawyers sniffing around.

Martin probably thinks of this sort of thing as a jolly jape, which is exactly why he is not fitted for this non-partisan role. This sadly means if there is a Conservative Government in 2010 the vote for Speaker will be partisan.

If there is a Labour MP who can be relied on not to let their own prejudices impact upon the job, they would be the best choice for Speaker after the next election. The incumbent doesn't fit the bill.

Salmondnet said...

I hope you're tight Ian, but I suspect it's wishful thinking.

rw said...

It's no coincidence that BPIX and Mori still put the Tories 15 or 16 points ahead. Most people wouldn't know a Russian Oligarch from Father Christmas, or care. This will all be forgotten in a couple of days; whereas ordinary voters will not forget or forgive what Brown and his cronies have done to their job security, pensions, food and fuel bills, house values, etc; not to mention the moral and social damage that Labour has done to this country.

Tony Sharp said...

Mr Boothroyd, are you capable of reading or does your attention span compare to a goldfish? Maybe you were off school the day they did comprehension in English?

Tory MPs are incandescent that Martin called Dennis Skinner at the end of PMQs. He must have known what he would talk about. On many occasions he has refused to let Tory MPs make similar points, but he gave Skinner carte blanche.

Now, can you see where the bias is? Or would you like a five-year-old to point it out to you?

Helen said...

Action in the European Parliament? Scaaaaaaarrrrrrrrryy.

Lady Finchley said...

Everybody (and that even includes the Speaker)knows that Skinner has a visceral hatred for Osborne. I am only surprised he didn't call him sooner.

Niccolo Machiavelli said...

Tories should stand up and ask the exact same question, substituting Osborne with Mandelson, at every opportunity in the chamber.

See if he allows it.

Anonymous said...

Has "man'o the people" Skinner still got his bit of stuff in Putney?
Hey oop lad, it beats living in Barnsley.

Oop Norf said...

I hope you're tight Ian, but I suspect it's wishful thinking.

Why does 'Salmondnet' wish for Iain to be tight, and in what sense is he using the word 'tight'?

John M Ward said...

It does give the impression of a set-up job. The timing and all that is rather too coincidental to be likely to have been genuine.

In the sense of quacking like a duck and all that, it looks very much like it was pre-arranged between the Speaker and Dennis "Boulder on the Shoulder of Bolsover" Skinner.

Newmark said...

Iain said - "Tory MPs are incandescent that Martin called Dennis Skinner at the end of PMQs."

Westminster watch said - "2 Conservatives, 3 Lib-Dems, 1 Plaid and about 6-7 Labour MPs called.
He has to go!"

It's just the luck of the draw. The Speaker himself doesn't decide the order of the questions. All the questions submitted by backbenchers are shuffled and a random selection is made.

Technically, the questions you hear at PMQs are not those that were submitted but are usually Supplementaries, so the Speaker does not know exactly what the questioner is going to ask, though in Skinner's case he probably had a good idea.

Anonymous said...

Martin Bells views on Mandelson are thinly disguised n an article appearing on the Guardian website this afternoon.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/oct/22/georgeosborne-partyfunding

"What then of Peter Mandelson? His actions have been entirely in keeping with his character. He is a world-class conspirator and bearer of grudges. He has always maintained, as he has every right to, that his private and public lives are completely separate, and the company he keeps when not on duty is no one's business but his own. These distinctions surfaced 10 years ago, when the House of Commons standards and privileges committee considered his £373,000 home loan from Geoffrey Robinson. Because the Labour majority on the committee rallied round him on certain matters, not all the evidence before us entered the public domain. But I formed a view then, which hasn't changed, about his fitness for public office."

Hopefully the pressure comes off of Osborne soon enough for the media to continue to take an interest in the story regarding Mandelson, although I imagine the idea is that the public should become bored of it before that happens... hence the PM's remarks to continue the pressure.

The Raven said...

Methinks Machiavelli is on to something there...

Richard S said...

Im a labour supporter but I belive his perfomance as speaker is (and has been for some time) shocking

intrestingly I notice on the youtube vid that seated 2 seats from Skinner is the old member for Bosnia West Bob Wareing who who kicked out the Labour party over a year ago. I hope were not desperate enough to have Wareing on our benches by choice.

Arkangel said...

Now there was me thinking that Skinner had promised to resign his seat some years back. In fact, if memory serves he made a promise to that effect.
As to whoever it was saying that Osborn should have reported the matter to the police...which police would that be then?
If, and it's a big if, there was an offence, then it clearly took place without the jurisdiction of both British Police and British Courts.
Do think before you post, dear boy!!

Anonymous said...

OK so Osborne can be called to account in this democratic parliament and the truth will out.

How can Mandelson be called to account?

So much time was given to debate hunting with hounds, yet no one is asking why unelected Lords are running the (democratic?) government of the day.

Andrew Allison said...

Is there a mechanism for MPs to remove the Speaker?

Iain Dale said...

Laurence Boyce, you clearly didn't see the Clerk urging Martin to intervene and rule it out of order.

Steve Spittle said...

Popped on to your splendid political blog Iain. Thought I might find coverage of the major stories of the day. You seem a little shy about the sort of ideas George Osborne might just have floated whilst floating on a boat.

Any allegations of potential corruption do need scrutiny. I'm not really interested in the party at the centre of allegations. Let's have a nice big clean up.

P.S. It strikes me that if Mandelson has anything to answer for then any investigation should be for the European Commission.

Iain Dale said...

You clearly have lost use of the scroll down key.

steve spittle said...

Nope, scroll down key is fine Iain. I was looking for scrutiny rather than staunch defence and rapid rebuttal. Let's not "sod bipartisanship" at this troubled time in the life of our nation ;-)

Iain Dale said...

Guess you came to the wrong place, eh? :)

Matt said...

Since Gorbals Mick, as well as being ignorant and greedy, has no respect whatsoever for the conventions of parliament, it is time for the Tories to disregard a convention of their own and stand a candidate against him at the next election.

Common Sense said...

Today I described myself to a colleague as 'right wing' in my views. Interestingly, I realized it wasn't so much a badge for my politics, but a signal that I am not a corrupt, bullying, unintelligent liar, who is full of hate and has no idea about fairness or decency!!

I'm sure I will not be the only one.

Lord Elvis of Paisley said...

Well said Iain. Today marked a new nadir in Labour's contempt of the Mother of all Parliaments and I really, really can't wait to get rid of this scum. I apologise if that term is a bit strong for your blog, but I can think of no other to describe Brown, Skinner and Martin. The hat does fit.

Malc said...

I see Tom Harris has taken umbridge to your post Iain.

steve spittle said...

Ooh, you are going negative folks. It was trashy when New Labour did it and it's still trashy now.

Try:

1. Having an idea
2. Refuting an idea
3. Getting a better idea as a result.

Dialectics all round!

Pete, Scotland said...

Good riddance when it comes.

He and his like have further reduced respect for democracy.

I don't live far from where he was based and can only wonder how on earth he got this job?

Maybe a parliamentary enquiry is in order!

Laurence Boyce said...

“You clearly didn’t see the clerk urging Martin to intervene and rule it out of order.”

No, I didn’t see that Iain, not on the clip you provide. But if I had seen it, I wouldn’t have known what the clerk was saying; and if he had been telling the Speaker to rule Skinner out of order, then he surely would have been speaking out of turn himself; and, last but not least, he would have been wrong in his judgement. Phew!

Because the question was in order. The question was, “Will the Prime Minister give us a rock solid assurance [that] whatever he does in order to clear the decks of the nation’s finances, he will never ever meet a Russian billionaire to try and cadge the money?” This is followed by some inaudible stuff which I think goes, “We’ll leave that to the sleazy Tory party opposite.”

What’s wrong with that? It’s a clear question to the Prime Minister. It’s not a serious question, but that is neither here nor there. What you seem to be saying is that the Speaker should have read Skinner’s mind and not called the question lest it prove damaging to the Conservative party!

Anonymous said...

"the authorities" ???

is brown planning on setting up a quango specifically for osborne.

i say that as no other idiot is going to investigate this nonsense.

Dangermouse said...

Bang on Iain - as usual one law for them and another for everyone else. Mad Mick also didn't let David Davies give his resignation speech in the House as was his due.

The man is a disgrace - he should be investigated, not Osborne.

DanielClarke said...

GOOD OLD DENNIS!!!

Anonymous said...

Cameron has previously asked a "clear question to the Prime Minister" that was ruled out of order, because it concerned the Labour Party. It is not clear why the Speaker has ruled that Prime Minister's Questions should be allowed consider matters pertaining to the Conservative Party but not to the Labour Party.

Anonymous said...

If it's anything like the general level of EU parliamentary "supervision", they will issue a "mild rebuke" to Mandlesohn, which he can cheerfully ignore, no longer being a Commissioner. He could probably have ignored it even if he still was, since EU Commissioners are more or less unnacountable satraps.

This whole sorry saga simply demonstrates Mandy's political skills - he knows that the British public don't really care what an EU Commissioner gets up to, so he knew that Osborne's smear would not work and that his counter-attack would.

If you are going to play with the big boys, be prepared and don't whine when you lose.

What's really interesting though to my mind is that Mandlesohn appears to have been semi-involved in efforts to channel money to the Tory Party. Now why on earth would he want to do that?

danny said...

this is a fuss over nothing. what's the matter with you? grow up and stop snivelling - it's parliamentary knockabout. handbags. this outrage in response is the equivalent of running home to mummy dressed up as a constitutional question. if Osborne and co can't take it, then they shouldn't be in there.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:27 - does that include by-elections?

Honestly though, what utter tripe - where on earth do these nutjobs exist when they are not spouting nonsense on rightist blogs?

Anonymous said...

Dangermouse said...
"Mad Mick also didn't let David Davies give his resignation speech in the House as was his due."

The Speaker didn't stop him from giving a resignation speech in the House but, having seen the script of the long speech that Davis proposed, declared that it was mostly a repeat of what he had said in debate the previous day and that Davis should remove anything that had already been said. Davis decided that left him with too little for it to be worth his while and chose to give the speech outside the House.

ruth kelly's plaything said...

When the UK Parliament was first televised, a Dutch friend told me that children in his country began to scurry home as fast as they could after school to watch the undignified lunacy of the Mother of Talking-Shops.

They saw it as a comic programme. Its members obviously take the same view, with the added bonuses of gold-plated pensions, free travel and huge 'expenses'. Why ought we to regard it any differently?

It is appalling to think that people died to confer on us this precious legacy that their successors treat so cheaply. 'Elective Dictatorship' has been here for a long time now. When the Speaker, the guardian of the system's dignity and integrity, descends to the levels visited by Gorbals Mick, there can be no hope.

What on earth can we powerless proles do to get it reformed? (I suppose that, if I refer to gunpowder as a cure, you will consider it a promo for another blog site, Iain?)

Word verification - tatienti - a memorial to the immortal Jacques, I take it.

Anonymous said...

The McSpeaker is an anti-English communist Jock, therefore he is working directly for fellow anti-English communist Jock Broon and the masses of England hating far left-wing communist extremists in the McLabour Regime.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know why the BBC is so touchy about this story. The Sun wrote in their leader comment today that the BBC have shown bias in their reporting of this tale. I have had 3 out of 4 posts on this subject rejected from Nick Robinsons Blog. It seems my crime has been to say that he and Peston have been less than even handed and that the real story concerns Mandy and his relationship with Derispaka. My posts also referred to the rout in bank shares following Peston's report. That is obviously touching very raw nerves.I see there has been a suggestion that the Tories want the source of this leak investigated. Quite right too. If it was the government who leaked this Brown should resign.

CROWN said...

Skinner vs Osbourne
In case you missed the electricity between these two - I hope you enjoy this clip!!

www.thecrownblogspot.blogspot.com/2008/10/skinner-vs-osbourne.html

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

"an allegation which [Osborne] has explicitly denied, and which a Labour chair of the relevant select committee refuses to look into because there is nothing to investigate."


But were Ossie to sue his friend Nat for libel and lose, then there would be something to investigate. I wonder if that is why the libel lawyers have not been unleashed.

By the way, as usual you tories have got everything arse upwards. The Speaker was doing the tories a favour. I was gagging for him to call Skinner much earlier; that would have been much more fun and far better for nulab. I'm still furious it only happened at the end.