Thursday, November 13, 2008

Paul Murphy for Speaker?

Rumours in Westminster Labour circles that a 'Draft Paul Murphy' for Speaker campaign is gathering momentum. Labour MPs feel they need a single candidate for the post Michael Martin succession and don't think that Sylvia Heal is a strong enough candidate.


Anonymous said...

But he looks like General Pinochet ?

Okay, he might therefore appeal to some Tories..

Tim Hedges said...

I thought it has traditionaly been the case that the Speaker was alternately Tory - Labour, the only exception being Michael Martin succeeding another Labourite (Boothroyd). It must surely be a Tory now?

Not a sheep said...

If Michael Martin retires before the next general election then Labour could install another Labour speaker if they so wished. Convention, pah! Democracy, pah?

Anonymous said...

Oh Tim - you are about to get shouted at by another Boothroyd.

Anonymous said...

Tim Hedges @ 5.17

If anything is in any way traditional, you can be sure that Labour will be against it. They seem determined (when they are eventually booted into temporary oblivion) to leave behind them a glum, grey, wretched, po-faced, desolate, authoritarian and miserabilist wasteland of curtain-twitching, finger-wagging, form-filling, thankless grind - for all except the privileged and gilded Parliamentarians, with their fat and untouchable pensions.

I have always thought of myself as something of an iconoclast, but am depressed by the enthusiasm with which Labour leaps to destroy anything which has no direct economic value - such as the rural Post Offices. The subsidy payable is as nothing compared to the indefinable value of the service provided.

To shoo in the current hapless buffoon of a Speaker might have had some defensible purpose if Labour had enjoyed only a small majority at the time, given his casting vote. To do it when their first-term majority was enormous, however, was to put up a childishly derisive brace of digits to tradition.

By almost everything they do, Labour prove themselves to be priggish hypocrites. Still, to look on the bright side, it provides a gratifyingly base target for the Tories to improve on. Even then, I expect they'll blow it!

Anonymous said...

Paul who?

John Pickworth said...

Obama for Speaker

"No YOU Can't"

Man in a Shed said...

Another Labour speaker is surely unacceptable.

The Law/constitution would have to be changed to allow the removal of the speaker by a new parliament.

Anonymous said...

To Gordon Brown everything is party political. From fraudulant postal votes to criticising a labour run council all he thinks about is party advantage.

There is no chance of him following convention if he can get another partisan speaker on the chair.

strapworld said...

All the Conservatives have to do, if Labour tried to shoe in yet another Labour Politician is to announce that they will NOT follow convention and WILL oppose the individual at the General Election.

If he is in a 'safe' Scottish constituency they should agree with the Scots Nats to leave the field open for them!

The Labour crowd have treated our conventions with total disrespect. WHY shouldn't the tories show them their disgust!

Anonymous said...

The ex-Earl Stangate Tony Benn lobbied for a Glaswegian ex-sheet metal worker to be a speaker when it was the turn for a Tory speaker. I heard one Labour MP then questioning the competence of M Martin. Why would Martin relinquish the hold on the gravy train so soon? May be the
ownership of Gibralter, the Dukedom, might work?

Paul Murphy? Is he the bloke who looks like the 'Orc character' in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings novel?

Ben said...

Breaking the tradition of alternating Labour and Conservative speakers should not matter, if Speaker Martin had acted in a genuinely disinterested way. Sadly for the House, he has not; his partiality has often been disgraceful, and his conduct in office (expenses) hardly above reproach.

I did see him in a better light at PMQs this week. But taking his record as a whole, surely no candidate, from whichever party, could do worse.

Paul Burgin said...

Well I have a lot of time and respect for Paul Murphy, lets just see what will happen.
Mind you, I wouldn't mind Kenneth Clarke being Speaker either ;)

Anonymous said...

man in a shed: Commons Standing Orders already allow for this.

Anonymous said...

Strapworld said: "If he is in a 'safe' Scottish constituency they should agree with the Scots Nats to leave the field open for them!"

You mean, like in 2001 and 2005, when only the Nats opposed Michael Martin in his Glasgow seat. He was returned with healthy majorities both times.

For the record, I will be supporting a candidate from the Tory benches whenever a vacancy occurs, and many Labour MPs will do the same.

Anonymous said...

There was never a convention of alternating Speakers. The convention was that the Speaker came from the governing party. The break with convention was the election of Boothroyd by the Tories in 1992.

Unsworth said...

@ Houndtang

"The break with convention was the election of Boothroyd by the Tories in 1992."

Nobody else voted, then?

Tim Roll-Pickering said...

It's often forgotten that in 1992 the government nominated a Conservative to succeed a Conservative - so much for the tradition of alternation! It was the backbenchers who voted for Boothroyd instead, because they felt Peter Brooke wasn't sufficiently independent having only just retired from the Cabinet.

The myth of alternation is because between 1959 and 1992 the vacancies fell under different governing parties. But the convention has always been the governing party proposes a candidate. In the 19th century the chair was held by Whigs/Liberals for 70 years continuously.

strapworld said...

Tom Harris. You honour me!

However, I did say 'safe scottish seat' and it is 2008 now and I do not think he uis as safe as you make out.

I visit Glasgow often and have many Glaswegian pals and I can tell you Mr Speaker Martin is not highly respected..

However I certainly respect your views.......but what if you had your arms twisted by the whips?