Monday, May 18, 2009

Vince Cable for Speaker?


Could this be the man to restore Parliament's tarnished reputatation? If Michael Martin does indeed step down, it seems to me that the most important thing for MPs to think about is this: Who has the public standing and respect, and the ability to institute real and meaningful reform? Whatever the merits are of candidates like Sir Alan Haselhurst (who has been my own personal choice), Sir Alan Beith or Sir George Young, they do not have a high public profile. Normally that wouldn't matter, but we don't live in normal times.

Several months ago I would have thought it was of utmost importance that after two Labour Speakers, there should now be a Tory. I no longer think that. It's more important to get the right person. In many ways, the poll I did of my blogreaders last week bore this out, when they voted for Frank Field or Ming Campbell.

There are three figures who have public confidence and the ability to lead Parliament through this difficult time. They are Vince Cable, Ken Clarke and Frank Field. I would say Vince Cable is the strongest candidate, but would he want to give up his current position as national economic sage? We might soon find out.

66 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hmm, I can't THINK why the Conservatives would be so keen to get Vince Cable off the TV...can you?

John

Liz said...

I hope whoever does end up with job goes back to wearing the wig. Ditching it was demonstrative of Martin's whole trouble; a perception of the man as being greater than the office.

Richard said...

He's too much of an asset for the Libs - they'd be crazy.

moorlandhunter said...

Vince would make a great Speaker.

Aye We Can ! said...

Vince? Vince? - I'm convinced!

Anonymous said...

Actually Cable is not as good as his reputation. His words of wisdom about the banks, when analysed, do not stand up to the test.

Doug said...

There's a question of whether you believe that some of the names you mention will sort out the mess left by Martin. But the other part of the job is being a commanding presence in the chamber. Hazelhurst has it, the x factor. In terms of presence and vocal strength Cable is weak and like Clarke stutters. There absolutely must be an opposition politician in the Speaker's chair. Not necessarily Tory. Do we need a high profile name? High profile isn't a guarantee of competence. Hazelhurst has done a fine job but I would like to know more about his participation or lack thereof in Martin's decisions.

Teri said...

I think we are getting ahead of ourselves here. This sleaze bag is not going anywhere. Infact, I've just heard on Sky news that it’s up to the sleaze bag to decide whether or not he even hears this motion. OMG, OMG, OMG!!! Surely we have a means of making this happen?

Teri said...

Oh yeah sorry - I quite like vince or Frank for the job.

nobby knockers said...

Don't think we will find out martin will hang on.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting that the "Vince for Speaker" campaign is being enthusiastically backed by Tories and not Lib Dems. A cynic would suggest the Tories and especially Gideon are keen to find a way of avoiding losing the economic argument to Vince at the GE.

disgusted said...

good idea

no longer anonymous said...

He'd be better as speaker than an economics commentator. Gets my vote.

Newmania said...

I think he would be good but Ken Clarke would be a magnificent speaker.
( Frank Field can stay where he is kicking idiot Brown ta very much)
I take it I `m the only one, but I am bored with the whole thing, unsurprised at the revelations ,and confident I would have been no better. I do hope Conservatives are not going to be as sanctimonious as the other frauds.

Anonymous said...

Frank Field has my vote or would DC want him in a cabinet to think the unthinkable on social security?

Mummydude said...

Cable so Able would be brilliant but what about Ann Widdecombe ? She`d slap their wrists when necessary and keep good order. And she is a woman of great probity. She might not want the job of course.

CryBaby said...

Go with Emperor Ming

sunonmars said...

BREAKING NEWS from Sky

DOWNING STREET : PM WILL SUPPORT THE WILL OF THE HOUSE OVER THE SPEAKER.

Well theres support for you, bye bye Michael Martin.

andrew benton said...

Talk of a new speaker as the solution to the problem of loss of credibility misses the point completely.

The country wants and needs a general election.

John MacLeod said...

In fairness to the pathetic Martin, it was Betty Boothroyd who ditched the wig.

pete-s said...

No Richard Sheperd for speaker, his total venomous dislike of Keith Vaz would make life perfect.

Bardirect said...

Can't stand him.

He's as sanctimonious as Ashdown and why give him a free ride?

Twickenham was a Conservative seat before 1997

Dic Dyffryn said...

Ken Clarke, Vince Cable and Frank Field have quite a bit in common; they are all have interesting things to say, are unafraid of their whips and frequently go "off message". And with the possible exception of Vince Cable, they have all been overlooked and thwarted by their parties. I don't know if any of them would make a good speaker, but by becoming speaker, they would effectively be gagged for good. I can imagine that quite a few people in the Conservative Party would be happy to see that happen to Ken Clarke, as he is the most dangerous remaining foe of the europhobes and little Englanders.

Liz said...

John - ah. Hadn't realised that. Bad Betty. I suppose it wouldn't have fitted over her hair...

Samson Dada said...

I have always been a fan of Vince Cable, and he was quite effective in his role as Deputy Leader of the Lib Dems.

He provided me with a quote once:

"The credit crunch is an inevitable consequence of the binge of irresponsible lending and excessive financial complexity. It has produced the most serious financial crisis in my lifetime which will surely get worse before it gets better."

Unlike the Tories, Lib Dems try and offer some kind of coherent suggestions, rather than use the most colourful adjectives and analogies available.

Our politics is broken in several ways. The Lib Dems should not be the third choice party, they should at least be the opposition party. But that is for another argument on our broken electoral system.

Saw you on skynews.com. Good analysis on the expenses row. Which constituency are you standing as an MP for?

I am enjoying reading your book- Margaret Thatcher: A tribute in words and pictures.

Samson Dada, 17
Youth Community Correspondent for the North and East Manchester Advertiser.

Profile:

http://samsondada.com/all-about-samson-dada/

Published Articles:

http://samsondada.com/articles/

judith said...

You all make wild assumptions that Cable or Clarke or Field would want the job - you don't know, and neither do I!

Seems to me that since there has to be a General Election next year, the current Deputy Speakers should carry between them, if Martin rightly gets the Order of The Boot.

Then the new House can elect, by secret ballot, a new Speaker for new times.

Anonymous said...

Kate Hoey will fit the bill.

Anonymous said...

Do we want a Speaker who took large sums of money from the tobacco industry and was one of the few Tories to vote against banning cigarette advertising?

trevorsden said...

Vince does not really live up to his pre match publicity. Having a low profile means his U-turns do not get publicised.

Frank Field has integrity - but I would prefer to see him cross the floor either before or after the election. Kate Hoey ditto, but I think the future actions of Brown may decide that.

subrosa said...

Ann Widdecombe would make an excellent speaker. We need someone who has the 'common touch' and she certainly does try.

Definitely not Vince Cable, although I'm quite sure he'd excel when a quickstep was required.

Fausty said...

I think Sir George Young, being the chairman of the Standards and Privileges Committee would return the role of Speaker to its traditional ways.

He's always been fair, impartial and measured and is unerringly polite.

I doubt Labour MPs would vote for him because most of them have proved to be self-serving and anti-tradition. And of course, Young went to Eton.

Anonymous said...

Breaking News:

http://www.ukip.org/content/latest-news/1048-millionaire-businessman-backs-ukip

Anonymous said...

Something drastic is need to restore some public confidence. Just maybe the removal of the speaker is enough to start the process.

norman said...

I have seen quite a few whose first name is "Vince" and whe given responsibilty never delivered. They were almost a man smug, thought they
were better than any one else, gave advice but given a position of responsibility totally failed. Call me some one fixated about this name, but No! Frank Field is my candidate.

Wyrdtimes said...

Vince hates England almost as much as Martin. An ideal choice for the British Government.

Anonymous said...

"Breaking News:

http://www.ukip.org/content/latest-news/1048-millionaire-businessman-backs-ukip"

So UKIP have won the support of a millionaire pornographer.

WOW.

Man in a Shed said...

At least he's English ...

Non Runner said...

So, either

- The Liberals should lose their biggest asset; or
- The Tories should lose their biggest liability; or
- Labour's biggest liability should be placed in a position of greater power

This is a "pick a card, any card" trick of which Sir Humphrey would be proud.

wolfie said...

Ann Widdicombe has already announced she is retiring at the next election so it won't be her. If Dave wins the next election he MUST give Frank Field a role in government fixing our welfare system. i met frank on a long train journey couple of years ago. Totally impressed with his insight, knowledge and solutions to the problems.

Vince Cable would be ok as speaker he talks crap about economics really ( just lucked out with one guess). Ken Clarke wouldn't want the job, it would restrict him too much.

Simon said...

I think he's a bit too sanctmonious. I get a bit fed up with him appearing with that holier than thou whine in his voice. Always makes me think of a puritanical Methodist Minister lecturing an errant parishoner after he's just spent a week on the lash. Which I suppose he is in a way.

It needs someone who is a bit more of a man of the world, which there aren't many of in Parliament. They're all party robots which is another reason to get rid of the lot of them.

Anonymous said...

An electrician writes:

A Mr Brown of Prudenceville writes to say that his speaker is faulty and unreliable. I advise him to get a new cable.

View from the Solent said...

re sunonmars 12:28
"BREAKING NEWS from Sky

DOWNING STREET : PM WILL SUPPORT THE WILL OF THE HOUSE OVER THE SPEAKER."

So will it be a zanulabour free vote then? How does this square with Ian writing earlier that the 'thuggish' whips are out and about?

Richard Abbot said...

We need a trouble maker, a stirrer, an honest but direct defender of the people - the monarchs representative. Someone younger than usual, but prepared to abandon ambition for the sake of the country.
Is there anyone like that??

Gladstone said...

C'mon Iain, surely you can think of more cunning way to get rid of Vince than that? I'm dissapointed in you...

Not a sheep said...

But who would the BBC call in to give "expert" opinion on economic matters if Saint Vincent was the Speaker?

Jules said...

Cable would be a great choice. Frank Field for that matter too. The clean-up not only needs to happen, it needs to be seen to happen in the care of an individual readily recognisable to taxpayers as someone with sense, gravity and integrity.

And it needs to happen now.

Unsworth said...

Cable is usually behind the curve in economic analysis. What experience can he bring to the post of clearing the Augean Stables?

Dave B said...

I'd like to see Douglas Carswell as speaker. Zero chance of that :-)

Doesn't Mr Cable stand a good chance of becoming Lib-Dem party leader after the next election?

Magical_Mist said...

I think Vince Cable would make a very fine Speaker indeed.
I do however think he is the only electoral asset the lib Dems have at the moment, so it would be very silly of them/him to take up the role at present.

Magical_Mist said...

That's also a REALLY horrible photo you've used, Iain.

Thats News said...

http://thatsnews.blogspot.com/2009/05/afternoon-update-is-speaker-martin.html

Oops! It is all v. v. exciting!

John Moss said...

Martin will speak at 3.30pm, will be live on BBC News channel

trevorsden said...

The latest story about Labour's John Austin, of Erith and Thamsmead (perhaps Ms Gould has avoided a poison chalice) is becoming typical of Labour MPs misdemeanours. Buying and selling flats with small matters of stamp duty being avoided.

This is quite toxic for two reasons.

One obvious one is we all have to pay stamp duty but on top of this Brown has refused to index it properly.

The other point is that thanks to Brown's pensions raid we have seen a big increase on property buying for asset value and rent. And here we find labour MPs up to their necks in it. Taking advantage of Browns unsustainable property boom to boot.

What a sad bunch of hypocrites Labour are.

Anonymous said...

How in hell did I get on to this site I wanted speaker cable. Is there a link to Maplin in the sidebar?

Anna said...

Very OT, but I feel seriously about it. Could you include a warning with your link to DK? Once, I thought him amusing and ignored the language... after all, it only indicates a lack of vocabulary. Surprising, really, bearing in mind his Eton education, but I suppose every insitution turns out bad apples.

Then he got very graphic about Polly Toynbee... I don't like her, but I liked less the person who could so demean himself in describing her.

Recent posts haven't restored any desire to follow his blog. It is now deleted from my bookmarks.

I think it is a real shame that someone who makes such good points makes them in a manner that I can't countenance. You will think me prissy, of course... but you don't make your posts with comparable language... I am sure you think it sometimes, but you don't post it... possibly because you think it is beyond the pale?

Of COURSE, people have a choice, DK's followers have a choice, I have a choice. I have made my choice.

Anna

ILLIBERAL DEMOCRATS said...

LoL - Is this the same Totem of integrety who asked for some more expenses because he thought he deserved some because he did not claim ACA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Vince Cable asked for some more expenses - he is as bad as the others:

http://tinyurl.com/cz3ewc

Rush-is-Right said...

It has to be Ken Clarke.

He could do the job in his sleep (and probably would).

And it's one less Europhile voting in the Commons.

Go for it Ken!

Anonymous said...

It has to be Sir Alan Haselhurst. He strides the chamber like a colossus. He should return to wig wearing mode, as well.

Thomas said...

Nick Raynsford would be good

Mirtha Tidville said...

What Red Vince in the chair?...Good God I hope not he`s a right sanctimonious little prick....
Frank Field has all the right qualities and even if he doesnt get it, he used to be a Tory and it would be nice to get him back again wouldnt it...

Little Black Sambo said...

Anon 1.02 "Do we want a Speaker who took large sums of money from the tobacco industry and was one of the few Tories to vote against banning cigarette advertising?"

What do you mean by "took", and what ON EARTHhas tobacco to do with the subject?

Anonymous said...

I knew the weasle would ge out of it!

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more - except wouldn't the reduce the moral and intellectual capital of the Lib Dems by about 50%?

Ahab

Fausty said...

Trevorsden, indeed. No wonder the government wishes to boost house prices.

A bit of a conflict of interest, wouldn't you say?

Matt said...

I've never been able to figure out why the speaker has to be from one of the parties in the first place - why isn't it someone from outside ?

MacGregor said...

I normally agree with you, Iain, but I am most disappointed you have fallen for Brutus Cable’s self-publicity. The next thing you'll be using his fantasy title of "Shadow Chancellor"! Somebody needs to tell Brutus Cable he's not the official opposition - and - once a Comrade, always a Comrade - he often sides with his former Labour Party members.

The poster who thinks Brutus Cable could become their party leader is unfamiliar with the phrase “He who wields the dagger never wears the crown”.

As the Illiberal Undemocrats Deputy Leader, Cable has been grossly disloyal to his last two party leaders. Indeed, he is a two-time backstabber as he was instrumental in both Kennedy’s, and Campbell’s political demise. Disloyalty of such magnitude reflects badly on the perpetrator.

And I agree Ann Widdecombe would make an excellent Speaker. It’s time for the Conservatives to have a Speaker – and time for another woman.