Thursday, May 21, 2009

Why Do the Tories Hate Bercow?

Or put it another way, why is the earth round? It's just the way things are. I guess I've spoken to at least thirty Tory MPs this week. They are all united in one thing. It must be anybody but Bercow. I know of only one Tory MP who would support him at the moment, yet Labour MPs are positively falling over themselves to back him. Wonder why that would be. One left of centre MP I know (and it wasn't Tom Harris, before you all rush to judgment) texted me the other night and I asked him who he would back. "Bercow," he said. "Why?" I replied? "Oh, I haven't really thought about it, he was just my first reaction." Nadine Dorries has an interesting perspective on her blog...

A very senior member of the Labour party has told me that the party, almost en masse, will be voting for Bercow. It means they can do the honourable thing and vote for a Conservative and not be seen to be partisan, "because Bercow's not really a Conservative anyway".

He said that the reason Michael Martin had failed was because he had become isolated, he had no friends. The reason Labour wont vote for Frank is because, he reckons, Frank is already isolationist and has no friends and therefore is already out of touch with the House.

I asked him how that logic worked as John Bercow could be described as isolationist also. "Ah, yes, but that doesn't matter because he's a Tory"?

Eh?

And that's the way they really are thinking. Front runners often fall by the wayside, and I suspect it will be so with Bercow. I was at university at the same time as him - I was at UEA while he was at Essex. I've always found him to be very good company and very passionate about the things he believes in. But as he has undertaken his political journey most Tories just don't know where they stand with him. One day he's being right wing, the next day you'd think he had already defected. People allege that his left wing wife is behind his change from right wing ranter who believed in repatriation of immigrants to someone who passionately believes in increasing the aid budget. Whatever the truth, Tories just don't trust him. And trust is something which is a pre requisite for a successful Speaker.

I don't believe John Bercow will win. But if he does, he can expect to be challenged for the job at the beginning of the next Parliament. Unless, of course, he does a far better job than most people expect he might.

My own view is that the next Speaker possibly hasn't even been mentioned yet. All the current possibles have too many downsides. I shall be returning to this tomorrow.

38 comments:

PhilC said...

You said 'left of centre' so obviously it couldn't be Tom Harris (boom boom).

William Blakes Ghost said...

Perhaps it is because he is a prize porker?

In the last six years he claimed£127,784 in ACA

Guess how much the max for ACA was over the last six years?

£127,784

That's right John Bercow is 'Top of the Troughers!'

He is a symbol of the greed of this disgraced Parliament. No wonder Labour fancy him as Speaker!

Man in a Shed said...

The upside of appointing John Bercow is that we don't have to worry about his politics any more....

Nigel said...

I don't think Bercow will get it, if only because of his age.
The prospect of anyone as Speaker for potentially two decades is more than a little off putting.

And I suppose in another decade's time he might have made some friends.

Bardirect said...

He's younger than me how can he become Speaker?

He could be there for 30 years.

That's far too long even for a good candidate not least as it disenfrachises his electorate for that timeand .

Anonymous said...

After winning the 2001 election, Labour's senior ministers went to Buckingham Palace to receive their seals of office. One of those present said "We were dead on our feet after campaigning for three weeks ... John Prescott knelt, recited his oath and walked away leaving the Queen still holding his seals of office. Jack Straw mangled his oath ... then steered blind David Blunkett towards the Queen.

Blunkett ended up facing not the Queen but a statue of George IV, to which he addressed his oath.

At the end of the shambolic series of events, the Queen said "I hope you run the country better than you have managed over the last 15 minutes!"

trevorsden said...

Could he or anyone be challenged after the next election?

Isn't the problem with someone of Bercows age the fact that you are stuck with him for a long time? How could you reasonably vote him out after an election, any replacement would be tainted with partiality just like Martin.

Maybe the rules should be changed so the Speaker must face re-election after a GE>?

This is the problem with Speaker Martin, his attitudes have tarnished the office. Clearly popularity has a part to play (as opposed to suitability) but even now labour MPs seem to be playing politics with the issue.

Lady Astor's son-in-law said...

Too left-wing even for BluLabour :

"we need a Tory answer to Harriet Harman".

www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/jan/30/parliament-women-ethnic-minorities

wot a wanker!

Praguetory said...

The Tories better start wheeling behind someone with some credibility. At any time Richard Shepherd would be a strong candidate, but when freedom and democracy are in such peril the man who has championed a transparent Parliament and freedom of information is perfect.

Praguetory said...

The Tories better start wheeling behind someone with some credibility. At any time Richard Shepherd would be a strong candidate, but when freedom and democracy are in such peril the man who has championed a transparent Parliament and freedom of information is perfect.

Mirtha Tidville said...

what might be more use here is if the Buckingham Constituency party said it was going to select a Conservative to fight the next election for them...

Johnny Norfolk said...

Why ?

Leftie & Wet.

Plato said...

Lots of reasons why he isn't the man for the job:

1. Too young and could hold office for 30+ yrs

2. Appalling ACA record as top piglet

3. Was part of Hang Nelson Mandela crew

4. and now all multi-cultural parasite.

Why would any MP with antennae vote for this sleazy opportunist?

Bardirect said...

and ..... if a Speaker were in position for 30 years party politics in the constituency would stagnate.

Buckinghamshire might be supposed to be a well to do constituency party but where would it be and what would its purpose be in 2039?

Anonymous said...

I've never been able to look at him with a straight face since I found that the Conservative Research Department refered to him as 'the poor man's Alan Duncan'

Plato said...

PragueTory - I agree that Shepherd would be fab, but he could only do an interim shift due to age and compared to Widdy, he sounds like he's about to burst into tears at any moment.

no longer anonymous said...

It's not just Bercow's views that annoy people but his sanctimony and smugness.

Bird said...

"The poor man's Alan Duncan"
Brilliant.
Sorry, can't link, but check Quentin Lett's demolition job in today's Daily Mail.

Anonymous said...

As top "TROUGHER" in three of the last four years he clearly meets all the requirements.He may of course need a little stool in order to reach his seat.

Anonymous said...

They've learned nothing, have they? (The public has.....)

Anonymous said...

This suggestion is the blackest of black humour.

Anonymous said...

When the mace is in the upright position will we be able to see him?

Anonymous said...

What about Labour's chipmunk as deputy thus enabling him to "stand tall".

Anonymous said...

But can you get those buckle shoes with lifts?

Former CCO staffer said...

as well as all the points Plato makes Bercow is

1. thick and
2. lazy

He tried to cover this up by asking over 4000 written questions in the year he was in the Shadow Cabinet, but was rumbled and hasn't been near the front bench for ages.

Why would anyone want such a plonker as Speaker?

Anonymous said...

Good news-Tory lead UP to 12%.

I Squiggle said...

No way Bercow will get the nod. I said on a previous thread that the power of pick lies with the serried ranks of the labour backbenchers (a very big constituency, and it’s a secret vote this time). But they can’t possibly go for a person that is either tainted by the expenses nonsense or doesn’t at least have at least tacit support from all sides. Agree with Iain that the next speaker has yet to be named. My bet is still safe..

wv: nonse!

Gary Elsby said...

We in Labour don't hate him, Iain.

We showed him how to fill in a Labour party application form and he passed with flying colours.

I think he'll be fast forwarded to a Ministerial position very soon after he crosses over to the sensible party as we know how much you lot absoluteley hate that sort of stuff.

Anonymous said...

Well, he won't need to resume the tradition of the wig will he?

Faceless Bureaucrat said...

Vote Bercow, get his Wife...

For crying out loud, just elevate the current Deputy Speaker, Sir Alan Hazelurst to the Speaker's Chair - he knows the ropes and is seen by both sides of the House as non-partisan.

Hazelhurst is the man for the job.

Rebel Saint said...

His
Grace has an excellent suggestion here
. Though it might be a potential waste of some talent. But on the other hand, since Dave has ruled him out of the front bench this might actually be the ideal place for him.

Anonymous said...

I suspect many of us know the "ideal" place for the wee fella with the smug Blears expression.

James Hopkins said...

One name I haven't heard mentioned at all is Sir Malcolm Rifkind. Untainted by expenses as a London MP, out of Parliament for 8 years so been able to see things from the outside, long Parliamentary experience, held 4 cabinet posts, including Foreign Secretary, 18 years a minister, a QC so intelligent with a strong knowledge of the constitution, known by the public, and highly respected by all. Has already been chief ambassador for the UK, would make an excellent ambassador for the House of Commons.

IanW said...

If the House has any sense of poetry and self-respect, it will be Damian Green. He won't want the job. That's all the more reason he should be dragged to the chair.

IanW said...

As you're on the subject of porking and Kent, what of the County Councillor expenses (there's an election shortly)?

Paul Burgin said...

"For crying out loud, just elevate the current Deputy Speaker, Sir Alan Hazelurst to the Speaker's Chair - he knows the ropes and is seen by both sides of the House as non-partisan."
Er no, he has been implicated in the expenses row, we need someone squeaky clean

Rexel No 56 said...

Keep saying it - Adam Afriyie

Little Black Sambo said...

He has a certain Martin Amis charmlessness. Is it the teeth?