Tuesday, May 19, 2009

How Many Candidates Will Be Ruled Out?

I've been having a little Twitter exchange with LibDem MP Sandra Gidley about whether MPs who have been caught up in the expenses issue should exclude themselves from standing for the Speakership. She started by saying...
Haselhurst for Speaker? With his expenses? I think not.
I replied...
Does the same apply to Ming? If you say no, I'd agree with you. But best not to be too holier than thou, eh? :)
She replied...
I would say yes having seen the reaction on QT. One thing I'm not is holier than thou! ..Any future Speaker has to be whiter than white with regard to expenses (public perception). Unfortunately that narrows the field a bit.

I think this is very interesting. Perhaps Sandra is right. I actually think that Alan Haselhurst would make an excellent Speaker, and Ming would be quite good too. Sir Alan has already proved himself in the chair, and I think had all this not happened he would be the clear front runner. Ladbroke's are still quoting him as joint favourite, but I wonder how many other MPs will be thinking along the same lines as Sandra Gidley. I suppose the logic she is using is similar to the way I came to the conclusion that Vince Cable, or someone of his stature, would be an ideal candidate.

65 comments:

Plato said...

But Vince as Speaker neuters their best pundit.

His voice is too querelous for Speaker - like Shepherd [sounds like he'll cry at any moment].

Shame about Widdie - my vote transfers to Hoey.

trevorsden said...

Can Joanna Lumley be selected for Douglas Hoggs constituency please?

Anonymous said...

If MP's pick anybody who has the slightest taint of troughing it will prove they haven't "got it"

BrianSJ said...

The other criterion is their voting record on FoI etc.

Rab C. Nesbitt said...

How about one of the nine who have not claimed a thing for the past four years? http:// www.rantinrab.blogspot.com

Liam said...

This topic came up at work. So many MPs seem to have been tainted that whoever is chosen has to be considered "clean" first, and a good Speaker second. This does narrow down the field but could provide a genuine fresh attempt to sort out what is a terrible situation.

BOF2BS said...

Can Ester Rantzen not be selected for Douglas Hoggs constituency please?

kasou said...

tened to Gordon Brown live...sounded like Martin...what have you guys done to England...thank god I am an ex-pat- revolution...protest..get rid of BBC for a start jesus what are you guys....wimps..wish I was home and could take to the streets...

Crisgod said...

Terrifying how limited the field is.

There are only really three personal qualities needed.

Honest
Competent
Fair

And one practical one. That the individual is a sitting MP.

It says a lot about the poor quality of back bench MPs across all parties, that there are so few names being mentioned as meeting these three requirements.

Anonymous said...

Sandra's right. The new Speaker must be whiter than white re expenses and FoI.

insert-coin-here said...

Will the appointment of a new speaker even matter?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5349802/Speakers-role-to-be-reformed.html

You politico's just cant help yourselves can you?

disgusted said...

They have to be clean. The speaker has the freest hand to trough. No party enquiry, no risk of deselection if the speaker goes native.

Cornish Conservative said...

Ming has lacked the energy to make a difference.
His batteries have been depleted for years now....

Michael Heaver said...

Frank Field all the way. He has the respect of Old Labourites that I know (and the parliamentary backbenchers) and most Tories regard him as being as straight as an arrow.

Infact, I heard a delegation of Tories tried to court him for defection early last year.

Gareth said...

More important than the speaker being whiter than white (which I think isn't neccessary) is a speaker who understands the authority of Parliament over Government and is prepared to defend *that*, including making Ministers answer questions and making the opposition ask them.

Why is Brown already detailing the reforms on expenses? Why is Stuart Bell saying once the Cabinet will soon approve the unelected and unaccountable quango he seems unfashionably eager to set up. All that is needed is routine transparency and a vast simplification of the rules.

Tony Benn said yesterday that the expenses matter is much the fault of each individual MP and I'm inclined to agree. Martin's faults are many and he deserved to go but let us not forget the many MPs who put aside their morals for a grubby benefit.

Has no one spoken about the continuing constitutional anomoly of Parliament being dictated to by the Government? Who in the House *get* that? Far too few I would bet.

Anonymous said...

This will apply to all MPs, not just the speaker. Any MP with dodgy claims, even within the rules, will find there is no place to hide at the general election. It will be THE issue.

Be prepared for a very green and inexperienced Parliament in 2010 ...

Anonymous said...

Not John Bercow. That's all I care. Not him.

Anonymous said...

"Unfortunately that narrows the field a bit. "

She including or excluding herself there ?

steveshark said...

Can Ester Rantzen not be selected for Douglas Hoggs constituency please?

The same Esther Rantzen who is an apologist for Shaun Woodward?
When interviewed on Radio5Live earlier this week she defended him.
They used to work together.
So much for her independence...

Chris Doidge said...

Sir George Young was just about the first to publish his expenses on his website. He won't put his name in the hat though - he'll wait to be called upon.

Anonymous said...

Adam Afriyie

Anonymous said...

She's my MP good to know she has some sense, and here expenses have been good so far as well.

Mirtha Tidville said...

Yer put Esther Rancid up....the Tories will romp home...

James said...

One thought Iain - could a Labour MP in a marginal seat use the chance of becoming speaker as a way of holding onto their seat at the next General Election?

What happens to the PPCs in the constituency from which the new speaker is drawn? Fine if the seat is safe - but galling for the rival PPC if the seat is marginal.

With this in mind - I think it would be better for a temporary speaker who will stand down at the next election.

Simon said...

How the hell could Gidley qualify her reply with "having seen the reaction on QT".

Funk le Monk said...

I don't know how a tainted parliament can elect a speaker when as many as half to two-thirds of members might lose their seats. Hoey would be an interesting choice but will never get it. By the way did anyone hear GB's response to a Tamil question. He said that the right to peaceful demonstration is guaranteed in our constitution. Well, not without police permission in front of parliament...and we don't have a constitution. He must have been watching too much West Wing, probably on a satellite package we paid for. I'm writing to the Queen, it's about time our 'Head of State' did something useful...

Man in a Shed said...

The next speaker must be English given the potential role of the speaker in the next parliament. So that's Ming out.

Alex said...

I have to say that Sandra Gidley is a better judge of character than you, Iain.

I am surprised that Ms Gidley didn't put herself forward. She is defending a less than 150 majority against a formidable Cosnervative.

My guess is that Sir George Young, who has made a habit of not making enemies on either side of the house, and is not the sort to fiddle his expenses (although he had (has) a daughter on the payroll) will make a strong showing as the more acceptable sort of Tory toff.

BJ said...

Here's a random thought: What about Charles Kennedy? He's relatively young but has a lot of parliamentary experience. And he's popular. And a nice man. And not tainted by the expenses, it would seem.

Yes, there's the boozing, but a Britain that forgave Keith Chegwin could surely forgive Chuckie K?

Anonymous said...

A v smug Alan Duncan on 5 Live -completely the wrong tone-seeking to characterise Labour behaviour as being worse on expenses (worse than the ride on lawn mower? moat? swimming pool? )...they just don't get it

Anonymous said...

The chipmunk Tory trougher is a BIG,NO,NO!

Grumpy Old Sod said...

The Speaker needs to be squeaky clean and then some. That will narrow the choice down a bit...

Peter Thomas said...

It must be Frank Field! That would satisfy, I think, the majority of MPs, and more importantly, the electorate. The office of Speaker would be in very safe hands.

(Oh, not Ann Widdecombe, please!)

Morus said...

The Lib Dems and Nationalists (PC and SNP) will likely throw their collective weight behind a single candidate - it could have been Vince Cable (ruled himself out), it could have been Ming Campbell (before expenses), but in likelihood it will be Alan Beith, as in 2000. He benefits more than anyone else from the modified AV system.

Labour candidates? MacKinley would have been in the next Parliament, but not sure now. Sylvia Heal is not going to happen. Probably only Frank Field with any chance, ironically thanks to Tories rather than Labour (Tim Montgomerie has joined the Frank Field for Speaker Facebook Group!).

Tories - Michael Lord will have to wait. Sir Alan Haselhurst, Sir George Young, Jon Bercow, and Sir Patrick Cormack are likely candidates.

So, main candidates will be Young, Field, Beith, with Haselhurst, Heal, Bercow and Cormack plus some long shots (Shepherd, maybe Taylor).

That's my guess.

javelin said...

I think it's easy to lose focus of each individual MP, and judge them relatively, but each MP will be the center of a lot attention in their own constituency. Every MP will know if they should stand.

Whoever does the job had better be whiter than White.

English First said...

There is no one, they are all crooked! Suspend parliament now!

canvas said...

What? Sir Alan Haselhurst - is that change we can believe in?? hahahaa. No chance. And in my opinion he's been a rubbish MP.

The new Speaker must have total integrity. It's time to draw a line - no more old school, no more nudge nudge wink wink.

Times they are a changin.

Cinna said...

Ming? No, please no! We don't need another Scotsman running the show, we've enough of them already.

What about an Englishman or a Welshman for heavens sake?

Anonymous said...

Frank Field is the only man for the job - truly honourable and independent-minded.

Anonymous said...

If Esther Rantzen is really concerned to cleanse the Augean Stables, she should stand against Shaun Woodward, her erstwhile protege, in St Helens. Despite being a multi-millionaire and married to one of the richest women in the country (a Sainsbury) he had the nerve to claim more than £100,000 for mortgage payments. And his constituency is one of the most deprived in the country. The man has no honour, no shame, no integrity. Go on Esther, I dare you ...

Anonymous said...

Presumably the new body (independent parliamentary standards regulator to be responsible for pay and allowances) will be a little more switched on than the Financial Services Authority, and display a little less bias to MP’s than the BBC?

The same old stuff, smoke and mirrors.

MP’s have broken the rules ”they made” in Parliament to enable those MP’s that wished to milk the system for all it was worth. Not just a few, most were at it!

These are the people who make the laws that tell us what to do on pain of fine or imprisonment.

Changes yes, but first sackings, fines or imprisonment, then recovery “with interest” of cash misappropriated from the UK Taxpayer.

Anything less is unacceptable.

Anonymous said...

Anon-8.08.Great idea.Bet she'd even get the support of the Woodward butler.

Anonymous said...

I think William Hague would be a most authoritative Speaker.

norman said...

Was looking at Vince Cable's background in Wiki. Natural Sciences and economics at Cambridge, Kenyan govt services in 1960s, John Smith's advisor in 1970s, SDP in 1980s and economist for shell in 1995 and in between all these Glasgow Uni PhD in economics, Glasgow councillor etc.. Liberal at first, then Labour, then SDP and then LibDem. Here , there and everywhere. where was his solid economic experience that is relevant beyond the oil industry? Media hype about him as Osborne looks infantile.

Anonymous said...

John Redwood would make an excellent speaker. His expense claims have been beyond reproach and entirely consistent with his longstanding criticism of profligacy in public spending.

Anonymous said...

How about the MP with the smallest majority getting the job by default?

If they point blank refuse, then the one with the next smallest majority should be put forward.

Very few things concentrate an MP's mind more then a tiny majority. A vote of no confidence in the sitting speaker, should automatically trigger a by-election.

Benefits in kind ARE NOW TAXABLE, for those not quite so equal as MP's. Gordon Brown himself, has made them so (P11D). I even have to list all benefits in kind that my own employees gain from working for me. Even a free cup of tea from a supplier, has now to be reported to the tax man.

Could someone find out the name of the civil-servant would drafted the MP's expenses rule book?

If not, WHY NOT?

Much on this issue has been said.

Yet no one ANYWHERE has attempted to investigate or even speculate as to how this situation arose in the first place.

A CRIME AGAINST the people has been committed.

The BIGGEST crime is not the dishonesty and self-interested greed of our MP's. It may be big, it may be very big, but it is not the biggest.

The BIGGEST crime is THE SYSTEM ITSELF, that has DELIBERATELY corrupted our elected representatives and consequently our entire representative parliamentary democracy.

Many if not all, are missing the establishment sponsored EU sized elephant in the kitchen. While running off in different directions, none of which is the most important one.

Being a sheep, does have its advantages.

All you have to do is skip and jump, while pointlessly following each other around the farm all day.

However we all know what happens to the mindless sheep, once the wool has either all gone, or the price has fallen to uneconomic levels, or don't we?

Atlas shrugged

strapworld said...

JOHN BERCOW?
Guido has killed him orft!

Oscar Miller said...

BTW this was Mark Oaten's response to my request that he sign Carswell's No confidence motion yesterday (his lack of punctuation and capitals not mine):

why we are not all signing is because we are trying to make this cross party and need more Tory and labour mps to sign- if not it will simply look like a lid dem motion and be chucked out- so yes I will sign but we are trying to plan this carefullyHow principled is that? Of course events (dear boy) overtook him.

Anonymous said...

Esther Rantzen may not be innocent of matters relating to expenses. When she worked at the BBC.... there was a big to-do with her old man....

Oliver Drew said...

Guess it won't be Hazel Blears (not that she was ever a candidate)...Gordon Brown has called her expenses "totally unacceptable behaviour"!!! So she's gone but when will he denounce Hoon and Darling (among others)?

As for the speaker. He or She does have to be whiter than white. For this reason, Parliament should be dissolved next week and an election held on June 25 with a speaker being chosen on the 29th.

Oscar Miller said...

Oliver Drew @ 9.19pm

But everyone knows the only reason Blears expenses are unacceptable to Brown is payback for her "YouTube is you want to" jibe. It has nothing whatsover to do with cleaning up the system. Brown only every plays politics. Integrity never ever has anything to do with it.

Anonymous said...

Richard Shepherd looked like phenomenal Speaker material on Channel 4 news! I would have gone for Sir Alan Haslehurst but the expenses rule him out. Shepherd is an independent-minded libertarian tory who votes with his heart - and has a great stentorian voice. I hope he stands, and wins!

Robson said...

Simon Heffer (of who i am no fan)has endorsed Frank Field and I am inclined to agree with him.

Oscar Miller said...

Agree that Richard Shephard came across extremely well on C4 News. If only they'd selected him last time around ...

Aaaaargh said...

After a bit of a rant I have suggested a way forward at www.aaaaargh.wordpress.com
but THEY won't like it because it gives US some power back.

Anonymous said...

I, too, think John Redwood would be an excellent Speaker. He's the logical choice.

I Squiggle said...

What we might want as the Speaker - integrity; no expenses scandal etc, will count for nothing. Under the new rules it will be the MPs who decide, with a secret ballot. That’s secret from them, and let’s not forget, secret from us. I’m betting there’s a sizable chunk of backbench Labour MPs who are seething that their man Martin has been ousted (and that is a big constituency), but also a huge backbench labour constituency – look at the figures. Lets not forget that’s how he got the job in the first place – they ignored the whipping to pick him. So I suspect that any candidate either put forward (nod and a wink) by the frontbenches or by the media is not going to get it. I fancy a complete outsider, not yet mentioned. Because of that sizable labour backbench vote:

Frank Field? - No chance. Nor any other labour MP who was considered ‘maverick’ by labour backbenchers. Tories: Young, Haselhurst, any other perceived ‘toff’ – No chance. And the idea that Anne Widdecombe could be in the frame?. Bercow made too many enemies across the floor when he arrived, they haven’t forgotten. Any Lib Dem: Vince, Charlie, Ming, Beith etc – no chance (Baker and Clegg put the knife in?)

I think it will be a Tory, as yet unnamed, but one who has kept under the radar, and one who is not considered ‘one of us’ by Cameron, and thus, reluctantly, acceptable to the labour backbenches.

I placed a bet this afternoon.

Tony said...

John Bercow is a Tory I can live with. I suspect many Labour members think the same way.

No other Tory can attract sufficient support.

Alternatively, if the fringe right of the Conservative party wants to cut off its own nose to spite its face then Alan Beith will do.

Anonymous said...

what about the member for romsey for speaker??? she'd take no crap from anyone trust me!

Sandra Gidley for Speaker

Elliot Kane said...

I think Sandra is definitely right. No-one touched by the corruption could ever be taken seriously as a reforming Speaker. That definitely puts Hazelhurst out of the question and Ming too. The public are not likely to forgive the appointment of anyone who isn't cleaner than clean.

Paul said...

Stop going on about Cable. You can't have him! Hands off! I give you Sir Alan Beith. Someone of undoubted experience, respected on all sides of the House, no-nonsense manner and a reforming mind. He would make an excellent Speaker, and hasn't recently been mentioned in the Telegraph.

Anonymous said...

Field has integrity and could see beyond party lines. Cable will never get his ego in the chair.

AProlefrom1984 said...

Anne Widdicombe. For one she's clean. 2ndly, she speaks as she finds and fears no one. But she's ruling herself out. Perhaps friends like Iain could appeal to her.
My personal preference is the Cromwell option with the speech on 20th April 1653 thrown in.

Adam H said...

Frank Field please; everybody, including the public, should be content with the choice. Plus, I see he has his expenses on his website.

romsey resident said...

I wonder what sandra gidley is saying now she has been found out- taking money for her lease on dolphin square and letting her daughter & her daughters partner live there rent free. she's reported herself to parliamentary standards, but isn't telling her voters