Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Speaker Bercow's First Test

Paul Waugh has the story. Gordon Brown has just announced on the World at One the details of Harriet Harman's statement to the Commons this afternoon. I wonder if John Bercow will have the courage of his convictions and bring the Prime Minister before the House to explain himself.

90 comments:

Stronghold Barricades said...

Should I hold my breath?

golden_balls said...

let the man settle in i think his first test will be pmq.

you must try harder to look at things in a non partisan way ian

Chris Paul said...

"the details" you say - are you mad?

AndyL said...

A thought:

Was it Margaret Beckett's job to lose the speaker election (to Bercow) with dignity?

Otherwise Labour would have had no serious candidate, which would have looked odd to say the least.

Nigle said...

More to the point, shouldn't "root and brach reform of Parliament" be a matter for the legislature, and not the executive ?

Stepney said...

Bang on the money -it's the first challenge.

Brown is so used to demeaning Parliamentary democracy he probably didn't even give it a second thought.

Time to prove your rhetoric Bercow; time to step up to the plate...

If he doesn't, we'll all know which way the wind is going to blow.

Andrew said...

I see that he's already got rid of the traditional attire. You dabble with ritual and symbol at your peril, since they are a tangiable link with our past. He is the holder of an office that is greater than himself, yet it looks as if he is trying to impose himself on it.

And is it only me who is concerned about any eventual attempt to get MPs to call each other by their names and not their surnames? Do they not realise that by referring to each other by their constituencies it is a reminder that they are not their of their own volition, but because they have been sent there by their communities (hence the word 'Commons') as their representatives?

We shall see... So far, so bad.

Not a sheep said...

A failure to hold Gordon Brown to account will be enough to justify a challenge in his seat come the general election.

gustavus said...

Why is he refusing to wear the Speaker's robes?

Ugh.

Sean Haffey said...

Iain

Have you contacted him to ask the question directly? When you first move into a new role, the learning curve is steep. A pointer may do no harm, and may do some good!

DominicJ said...

Will I will Euromillions on friday?
I've not bought a ticket, but its more likely I'll win than Bercow will bring the executive to account.

Chalcedon said...

He will say it is her speech not his so his mentioning the highlights will not be covered by the stance of the speaker. He will always weasel out of things.

Constantly Furious said...

Great minds think alike! Just blogged the same thing, wondering Will Bercow be bollocking boastful Brown?

Or will he hide under the Speakers' chair?

Non Runner said...

It's his first day. Give him a break. Let him find out where the loo and coffee point are. Don't be so partisan.

Chalcedon said...

Ah, I read he has given that stupid pantomime costume the heave ho. Excellent. I'm beginning to like him already. Now if he can get MPs to address each other like sane people he will be well on the way. This archaic rubbish should have gone years ago.

dearieme said...

"time to step up to the plate": why use an American cliche, Stepney?

Anna Raccoon said...

Andrew@2.16 - I see that he's already got rid of the traditional attire.

++++++++++++++++++++++++

He can hardly wear the wig can he? - he'd trip over it.......

Bercow beckoned and unbecoming Burkhas.

Mark Senior said...

Groan - I expect all we will get for the next 12 months from you Conservatives is constant nit-picking and fault finding over every trivial matter where he does not do exactly as you want .
A sorer bunch of bad losers I have never seen in my life . It is quite clear that you do not want a speaker who will act impartially for the benefit of all parties represented in the HofC but simply a Conservative toady who would run Parliament for your party's benefit .

Elliot Kane said...

If he does, chances are he'll be a good Speaker and the Tories should give him a fair chance. If not, he's already been caught in a lie on his first day in office. That would not be good...

Mark M said...

Dragging him in front of the house seems excessive for what is a first time offense (yes he's been announcing stuff all over before but that was because Martin let him do it. This is the first strike under Bercow). I think a gentle reminder to the PM before PMQs tomorrow that World at One is not the place to be making announcements would be sufficient.

Whether he will do that though, who knows? Perhaps this is Brown testing the water.

Anonymous said...

Give him a chance to settle in Dude.

It's his first day at work, he probably doesn't even know where the pencils are kept or what doors to shut on the way out.

Anonymous said...

Mark M

Yep, you're right. This is Brown 'testing the water'. As with any child, if you let it go first time, you're dead in the water.

And I have a feeling that Bercow is going to be completely and utterly out of his depth.

Anonymous said...

Of course he's not wearing the official speaker uniform, they don't do his size off the peg.

Whiffler said...

If he doesn't do what he promised only a day or two ago, he should be upbraided for misleading parliament !.

Anonymous said...

Is Gordon going senile.

Of late he has had great difficulty in pronouncing words correctly and it seems to be a worsening problem for him.

DespairingLiberal said...

Er. No. Hope that answers the question.

Anyway, this has always been a lot of fuss by MPs with very little substance to back it up. Are MPs really saying that a minister is not allowed to talk about new policies in a media interview without checking in first with a load of expense-claiming timeservers in the fodder-grazing veldt of the backbenches? I don't think so!

MPs should know their place, which is not to question their Lords and Masters.

no longer anonymous said...

"It is quite clear that you do not want a speaker who will act impartially for the benefit of all parties represented in the HofC but simply a Conservative toady who would run Parliament for your party's benefit"

Strange then that many of us sympathised with Frank Field who is not a Tory.

Lola said...

The shit is testing Bercow. Bercow has to go in hard or it's game over on day 1.

Anonymous said...

First clealy party political question, I think it was Gapes, he did nothing about. Even though he had just said that questions should be short as there are many MPs who want to bring questions. Same old, same old.

Anonymous said...

Now a second political question, this time from slimy Linton (Battersea). Nothing done, he's no better than McGorbals.

Anonymous said...

Third question, now from slimy Efford (Eltham), yet again nothing.

Anonymous said...

Fourth question Miller (Elsmere port), yet again nothing.

Catosays said...

@Mark Senior.
you're talking bollocks...and not for the first time either.

Simon said...

I watched Bercow for a few minutes. Pompous little tosser isn't he? Why Sky, BBC etc are treating him with such respect is beyond me. He's just a dishonest little chiseller who's struck lucky. Harperson currently lying, I can't stand any more.

Armchair said...

Well here is his chance to show he means business.

If Brown is censured then it will put a stop to this nonsense of announcing policy on the BBC straight away

niconoclast said...

The leader of the House of Conmens should have convictions -for theft.He looks like a cross between the Artful Doger and the Imp from Hell.

jailhouselawyer said...

John Bercow in the King's New Clothes

Oscar Miller said...

Will he have the courage of his convictions?

Bercow has no courage and he has no convictions.

Simon@4.29 - it's bizarre isn't it? Bercow is exactly the kind of Thatcherite Essex Man the BBC would have trashed in the olden days. But now, courtesy of Gordon Brown's New World Order, he's being treated with ludicrous deference. I suspect the more the public see him the more they will hate him.

All the most loathesome types are being foisted on us - first Brown, then Mandelson and now Bercow. Whatever next?

Armchair said...

You really are i=an idiuot aren't you Mark.

Can you never put your hatred of all things Conservative to one side just for once.

I think you would have to admit that it is Labour who have corrupted the office of Speaker not the Conservatives.

I hope Bercow turns out to be a brilliant tight-rope walker and brings dignity back to the office.

jaybs said...

It just amazes me reading some of these posts how petty and pathetic people have become because of John Bercow being elected Speaker.

If this is how the Party behave we do not deserve to take office at the next Election, the Voters are watching everything these days.

I hope Bercow does step down on the way the Government treat Parliament, but give him chance please.

Furious said...

Aye right! Like he's got the balls to do that. Bercow is a fanny and on borrowed time.

Paul Halsall said...

Paul Waugh really calls out the Tory attacks on Bercow.

http://waugh.standard.co.uk/2009/06/an-example-of-how-tory-mps-loathe-speaker-bercow.html

The protesters seem to be either anti-Semitic or anti-Working Class.

All in all, a sign of what will happen if the Tories get elected.

[PS: While I agree Brown and New Labour are driving the public mad with anger, there is no love for the Tories. METRO's poll today had the Tories at 30%.

Anonymous said...

If he really wants to clamp down on Gordon, then the correct moment will be at the start of PMQs, with the cameras and the whole house there.

I expect Gordon gave him his instructions in their meeting this morning, though. He wouldn't have allowed his sheep to elect someone who wasn't already fully under control.

Anonymous said...

Iain, just saw you as part of the Setanta highlights package that they're airing as they shut down ...

Anonymous said...

I don't think it is just about class, or anti-Semitism. There is something naff about Bercow: he's smarmy, a bullshitter, and doesn't look the part (boyish hairstyle, jokey ties). He's also a generation too young. He doesn't have the dignity or the maturity for the role. Too flash. And of course he was one of the troughers. No wonder people are disappointed. Parliament and the country deserve someone better. Yet we are potentially stuck with this cheeky chappie with the big ego for 30 years.

kasou said...

So McBruin carries on as usual. No cange...'I am the Prime Minister' and rules don't apply to me.'

Good ol Gordon so you or did Mandy insist you needed the exposure ??

Fausty said...

Clearly, Labour toadies have been told to go forth onto Tory blogs. I've had a few on mine, too.

Good point, Iain. Unfortunately, I missed the damned thing. Can you post an update on whether Bercow did or did not take Brown to task?

Anonymous said...

Paul Halsall at 5.32 check your facts before posting.. it was 35% labour on 20 and LD's 16. The "the "others" figue is incredible at 29% so its difficult to asses.

Mori has 38/21/19

You might be right about the disaffection for Bercow

Gerry57 said...

I doubt that Bercow will bite the hand that just fed him

Stepney said...

dearieme said...
"time to step up to the plate": why use an American cliche, Stepney?

Dear Dearime,

Because all the English ones are shite.

Sometimes, just sometimes, other people do things better than us.

Lots and lots of love,

Stepney

Marian said...

Iain,

I'm afraid you had better start to get used to New Labour acolytes "responding" or more accurately "spoiling" on your part of the blogosphere for our experience here in Scotland is that we have had to put up with their hate filled diatribes against the SNP every day since the SNP came to power in 2007.

Indeed it got so bad in the online version of the Herald newspaper that it pulled away from allowing open responses and nowadays allows only heavily filtered registered responders only. Its just a matter of time before the online Scotsman is going to go the same way. Our experience here in Scotland is that these people have nothing positive to to say about anything and their raison d'etre is nothing more than to make personal smearing attacks on their opponents.

Sad to say but you need to be prepared for the same thing down your way.

strapworld said...

It does appear to me, an oldie, that the majority of people placing their comments here, have no idea whatsoever on British Constitution and our long history.

Their uniform will probably be football shirts and shorts! Perhaps they would be happier if the Bercow man wore that strip!Or his old tennis strip.

Obviously all are advertisements for Labour's excellent work on education.

Before you dismiss the attire that a speaker should wear, read a little about its origins and why all Speakers, but Speaker Boothroyd- for obvious reasons and the last unlamented speaker decided against the wig.

Bercow has reduced the role to that of a teacher in a public school. No doubt to remind the labour MP's of their childrens teachers.

Before writing anything, it is always best to engage brain. Which is something so many here should take to heart.

Have a little respect for our history and traditions. Far finer men and women have given their lives so that we can live in freedom.

This shower of incompetents, this disgraceful government are attempting to strip the country of much of what made us great.

They have succeeded in producing children and young people who are inumerate and cannot read!

Created a far greater benefits culture, in which whole families from parents and children and grand children have never worked!

All this has been created to bring this country to a state when, they hope, we will want to kneel down and allow the undemocratic EU take over all our lives, completely.

Sadly, reading much of the tripe written here, that is now a racing certainty.

Lord Snooty said...

What a silly post, Iain. Bercow has many tests ahead of him but this isn't one of them. Are you just mindlessly beating the drum for Cameron or do you really not have a clue? Just askin.

Little Red Riding Hood said...

I think Bercow's first test will be keeping Cameron in line at PMQs. The Bullingdon boy is a nasty pompous arrogant little shit who shows no understanding of the courtesies of civilised debate or the conventions of the House.

cheeky boy said...

@ Oscar Miller
"All the most loathesome [sic] types are being foisted on us - first Brown, then Mandelson and now Bercow. Whatever next?"

Cameron and Osborne. Truly vile types.

big balls said...

I always thought Alan Duncan was the slimiest Tory on the planet, until I saw Bercow on TV last night. Where do you guys find these people?

Anonymous said...

He reminds me of a hobbit. Bercow Baggins.

Constantly Cretinous said...

Big Balls

I hardly think Duncan or Bercow are the worst Tories. What about Dave, Gideon, Boris to name just the most obvious? Never forget - the Etonian Bullingdon boys are the lowest of the low.

Little Red Riding Hood said...

Guido hates Bercow so that's good enough reason for me to like him. The porn-meister Fawkes is a terrible judge of character.

Oscar Miller said...

Oh dear - troll alert. The site has been overcome by the little people. Well dearies if you saw Bercow's interview with Tom Bradby, you will have seen our new Speaker resoundingly fail his first test with the media. The smiley mask slipped and the truly nasty man within was revealed for all to see. If he carries on like that he won't last to the GE.

Salmondnet said...

Major troll infestation today Ian. Any doubts that Bercow is Labour's man must surely be removed.

Anonymous said...

let's give bercow a chance, he might prove to be a trojan horse- i.e. this is all a clever plot by the tories to con labour into thinking bercow is one of them- what a double bluff against labour !

what political cunning ! Mandelson would be proud !

Anonymous said...

I second Cato on Mark Senior , Bollocks .

or as the troughers in the commons would say "hear , hear ".

PS- the whole not dressing in the old garp- what a totally silly move, which is totally new labour -i.e. you get rid of the symbolism/tradition, but the real hard core message is still there (or rather in the case of the speaker the traditional support of troughing ) .

Mike Law said...

Nice post strapworld (@7:53pm)

Tory Activist said...

I just hope that he does turn out to be impartial.

I'm quite suprised that no one has considered any conspiracies yet...

i have: http://toryactivist.blogspot.com/2009/06/speaker-conspiracy-theories.html

:)

Tory Activist said...

ah my apologies, anonymous @8:20PM has also thought about the third theory on my list :)

Anonymous said...

Would Bercow have the Guardsmen stood outside Buckingham Palace dressed in jeans, T shirts and baseball caps?

Jules said...

Did anyone see Berkow's interview with Tom Bradby on the 6.30pm ITV News tonight? What an arrogant, pompous, oozy little hoon he is. Great. We've been utterly stitched up by the PLP. I used to work with his (future) wife in the early 90s): she was a snotty weirdo too. Socially dysfunctional to the nth with bad skin. God almighty ... what has this all come to?

Jonty (aka Jonathan) Prior the New Labour Liar said...

Bercow said he would come down like a tonne of bricks on media-grid pre-announcements - this is his "manifesto promise".

Over to you Bercow......man or a mouse?

Anonymous said...

Pass the Cheese.

Paul Halsall said...

@Anon 7:20

I cited a news report from print in METRO.

The Mori poll used said 30 Con/ 17 Lab/ 14 LD. 15% were undecided.

Then METRO reported adjusted figures. I do not dispute in any way that Labour is in crisis. What I dispute is that the Tories have in anyway sold themselves to the public.

Martin Day said...

Stronghold Barricades said...
Should I hold my breath?


LOoooooooooooooooooooooooOL

You been reading my Blog - Recover starts when Gordon loses his Job?

Tory Attack Dog said...

* * * Marian & Oscar Miller.
I agree that left wing loonies seem to have attacked this Blog,Just reading some of their comments prove that they cannot add anything sensible,and only offer personal insults. I off now to stir it up on Labour List and any other left wing leaning Blogs. I will just pretend I cannot spell PROPER or PUNCTUATE (Labour speak for a flat tyre)
WV....nomojo, yes I have

Anonymous said...

Let's face it. Labour MPs thought it was a jolly good wheeze to vote Bercow. They have the utmost contempt for the electorate.

Oscar Miller said...

Paul Halsall - can I refer you to PolitcalBetting where the analysis of polls is a little more sophisticated? The latest Ipsos Mori poll puts the Conservatives at 38, Labour at 21 and LibDems at 19 as anon @7.20 correctly states.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Paul Halsall said...

@Oscar Miller

I was accused of mis-citing a source when I was citing the source from a text in front of me.

And the conclusion stands. Labour is doing badly, but the public are not sold on the Tories.

I do hope the Tory Party continues to ignore this; then there is chance for a hung parliament, a very narrow Labour victory, or, joy of joys, a Tory minority government.

Oscar Miller said...

I can't believe apologists for Bercow are re-running all the twaddle they pumped out to defend Michael Martin. All valid criticism has to be deflected as some kind of naughty 'ism'. This is an extremely tedious attempt to close down any proper analysis of what is going on. But this is what the Left now are - a hollow party that shouts 'racist' or vainly attempts to revive the class war in a pathetic final attempt to make their lives meaningful.

salt and vinegar for cretinous' shoulder said...

Sorry, but I really do not understand why people think that old Etonians or people who graduated from the many fine universities in this country are the "lowest of the low" (constantly cretinous). OK, so many of these people come from monied backgrounds, but equally, many people work and save hard, don't have flash cars or holidays or the big wide-screen tv's and sky. Instead, they choose to use their earnings to send their children to good schools (not public or private, just have to pay for transportation over many miles) and the children, to their great credit, work very hard to achieve great results. They then go on to the good uni's, ie Oxbridge, St. Andrew's and some London uni's.

Constantly Cretinous (you really are)how dare you denigrate my children and their achievements, and how hard my husband and I work for them to go to good universities. Think before you write, not everyone who attends good school/universities are wealthy - we just choose to use our money on education for our children.

You seem to me to be a mean spirited bigot. Are you just jealous of people who have money? Too lazy to work hard enough. Are you jealous that you did not have the academic ability to go to a good university? Perhaps if you worked harder, you too would have been accepted into the best educational establishments.

I don't know your circumstance in relation to children. What I do know is that the hypocrite Paul McCartney made a big fanfare about sending his children to state comps, but when they finished, he used his influence to get them into fantastic jobs.

Oscar Miller said...

Paul Halsall - go read PoliticalBetting. You are misinformed - even if it is written in that fountain of wisdom Metro.

Anonymous said...

Widdecombe honest MP who cares passionately about cleaning up Parliament.

Bercow diddled expenses to avoid capital gains tax and wants to give MPs a 100% pay rise.

Which one do MPs (mainly Labour) vote for?

Yes the tax avoider and expenses fiddler who wants to pay them more.

jamestheless said...

Well said, strapworld!

Most, if not all, of the "archaic nonsense" is there for a good reason.

The Speaker's costume is there because the office is greater than the man (or woman) who occupies it.

MPs refer to each other as "the Honorable Member for X" - even if they believe said member to be one of the most dishonorable persons ever to enter Parliament - to emphasize that MPs represent their constituents, not themselves. The extra level of indirection also helps MPs stay on the right side of the line between impassioned debate and personal abuse.

In general, the traditional stuff is there to remind MPs that Parliament, and the rights of the British people, existed centuries before they did and, God willing, will still exist long after they are dead and forgotten.

In my experience, people who despise the past usually despise the future as well - their main priority seems to be to grab what they can while the going's good and then disappear, leaving a mess for someone else to clear up. Tony Blair is a classic example.

Peter said...

Give Bercow a break and let him prove himself or otherwise.
No one said a Speaker has to be popular but he must be respected.
I find the idea of a maverick Speaker who answers to no one but himself rather appealing.

Thatsnews said...

What a silly post, Iain. Bercow has many tests ahead of him but this isn't one of them.

Yes, it was. It was his first one. And he failed it. Oh dear, how sad, never mind.

Elby the Beserk said...

Slightly off topic, hope you don't mind!

Bill to imprison MPs who lie

The Grim Reaper said...

Lord Iain of PlayRadio said "I wonder if John Bercow will have the courage of his convictions and bring the Prime Minister before the House to explain himself."

Computer says no...

Anonymous said...

The Speaker has no power to legislate. Parliament has neither debated nor approved a 'gagging order' on ministers appointed to serve the public and keep the public fully and openly informed - a principle of democracy.

Bercow's immediate 'threat' on arrival was well 'out of order' - he's paid to serve ministers.

Anonymous said...

Constantly Furious,

No legislation exists giving the Speaker the right to dictate to ministers to whom they should or should not speak, or where this is or isn't permissible.

Bercow shows himself to be alarmingly ill informed, and a self opinionated bully.

This is not Nazi Germany - it's democratic Britain, where MP's are elected to serve and communicate freely and opening with those they are paid to serve, the electorate.

Anonymous said...

He did it boys - he did it!

Credit to Bercow.

Anonymous said...

I see Balls has announced an announcement today