Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Why I'd Vote for Bercow

It's interesting that many of the left have interpreted the blogpost last night on Ming Campbell and the Speakership as proof that I want to see the back of John Bercow and that I therefore automatically support Nadine Dorries and Kat Hoey in their bid to oust him. Read the post again. I said no such thing. I was merely reporting a good old fashioned journalistic scoop. The kind of scoop which is alluded to on Newsnight, and is now being reported elsewhere.

Ben Brogan speculates that David Cameron is exerting pressure on Tory MPs to avoid a divisive vote. He also thinks that the eighty year old Sir Peter Tapsell may well indulge in a bit of selective hearing. I think that is far fetched, but whatever happens, his opponents must not let the occasion dive into the gutter. They won't be easily forgiven.

I supported Sir Alan Haselhurst in the original election for Speaker ten months ago. But if I had a vote this afternoon, I would have come to the conclusion that I would support the right of Speaker Bercow to stay in his post. That's not to say I do not have reservations about the way he has handled certain aspects of the Commons in his first ten months. I do. But I also think he is an intelligent man and has probably recognised that he didn't get everything right. Picking on certain individuals was not edifying and it should stop. But he is a reformer and clearly has the interests of the Commons at heart and my view is that he should be given a second chance to demostrate that he can be the Speaker his supporters always hoped he could be. As I wrote last night...
If he does indeed win, then the whole House should unite behind him and the office of Speaker and put the difficulties of the last few months behind it. And Mr Speaker Bercow should try to understand the reasons why so many Conservative MPs have turned against him. Whatever the result tomorrow, he needs to extend the hand of conciliation.

I hope he does so.


Chris_sh said...

"eight year old Sir Peter Tapsell "

Well - he's probably got his mind on lego and things

ChrisM said...

And when the fragrant Sally whispers in his ear of a night that she would quite like something to happen......

Come on, do you really think she won't influence him? The Speaker should be beyond reproach. And this Speaker is not. He is a throwback to the last degraded government and should be removed.

I can normally see where you are coming from Iain, but on this occasion I am lost. Is there some deeper plan you are not sharing with us?

Lady Finchley said...

I support him too for all the reasons you listed. Of course Mrs B is a liability but she is best ignored.

I am afraid to say that much of the distaste for him is because he is seen as a pushy parvenu not to mention, Jewish. Fatty Soames has always been particularly unpleasant.

Paul Davison said...

If I might raise a thought from this side of the pond. I don't know the particular merits or demerits of John Bercow, but I think the worst argument seems to be based on the change in party complexion of the House of Commons ("it's the LD's turn").

Comparing how the UK Speaker has evolved from the late 1700s with how the US Speaker has changed, I would be very slow to do anything which weakens the non-partisan aspect of the UK Speakership. Do you really want a situation where the chair is held by a leading member of the Government party?

As an aside, where would we be if a party candidate (any party candidate, not particularly Mr. Farage) had died at Buckingham after the close of nominations. Mr. Bercow would not yet be a member of the House and could not be chosen Speaker.

Anonymous said...

"I also think he is an intelligent man and has probably recognised that he didn't get everything right" --- once again you o0versetimate the qualities of people who would disdain you.

His 'supporters' were the assembled mass of the labour party, so I sincerely hope he does not behave as they intended. But I equally do not see 'Ming the Useless' as a solution; so for all the wrong reasons you are probably right.

Just who would ,make a sane alternative choice. Well Ms Hoey I suppose. yes - I would vote for her.

Scary Biscuits said...

His opponents must not let the occasion dive into the gutter.

The criticisms of Bercow are that he is venal and incompetent, that he doesn't enjoy the confidence of the full house and that there are better candidates to improve the image of Parliament. Why is Iain smearing people who make honest held criticisms?

I would support the right of Speaker Bercow to stay in his post.

What right? He's there by the grace of his fellow MPs, nothing more.

He is a reformer.

Oh yes. When Mrs T didn't like the decor at No. 10 she had it changed at her own expense. The Bercows have an entirely different attitude to taxpayers' money.

Penfold said...

You are Iain a very fair chap.

Bercow has demonstrated that he is a berk and should be ejected from the office that he has brought into disrepute. We won't bother to add the peripheral issues of his wife.

If there are to be others standing than Bercow will have to take his chances. He wasn't a favourite Tory candidate and only got in as a result of the machinations of the left, so there's sinecure for him.

Desperate Dan said...

He's a tenth rate Speaker and his presence cheapens parliament. His wife is worse than an idiot. The people who ran his campaign for Speaker are utterly vile and Bercow is tarnished by his association with them. He is keen to bulldoze through his own personal views on how parliament should be run regardless of whether or not anyone agrees with them. He's got a king size inferiority complex. He's too small. He's psychologically flawed. All signs point to the fact that he is likely to abuse any trust that's placed in him. No-one likes him. He is symbolic of the corruption and vote-rigging of the last Labour government. He is lacking in stature, presence and charisma. There is nothing to be said in his favour.

Richard Manns said...

"...he should be given a second chance to demostrate that he can be the Speaker his supporters always hoped he could be."

Well, given that it's common knowledge he was voted in by Labour to be a pain in the arse for the Tories, I for one hope that he doesn't conform to his supporters' hopes.

Little Black Sambo said...

He's nasty, and that is why I don't want him.

Anonymous said...

I think Bercow is an excellent choice.

The fact that he's been on a political journey throughout his time in office is, to my mind, irrelevant. In many ways, such a journey will probably have provided him with a sense of perspective that, by necessity, most other MPs don’t have.

The most important quality to be found in a Speaker is a scrupulous commitment, at all times, to impartiality. I do not think that Mr Bercow will fail this important test and wish him every success in his role.

steve said...

Oh dear! You were doing so well. To echo the views expressed above Bercow is self-serving, not competent, and small in stature (intellectually speaking.)

Has Dave promised you something?

Jon Lishman said...

"...I would support the right of Speaker Bercow to stay in his post."

What "right" is that, exactly? Human? Sounds more like a sense of entitlement and self-righteousness (on Bercow's part) to me. Whatever 'rights' he thinks - or you think - he has are only the rights afforded him by the electorate. One of those rights is to sod off when we say so. Tell your mates in Westminster: we say so.

He's a treacherous troughing toad who only got the job because Labour wanted to shaft the Tories. I would have thought Iain Dale would have wanted that particular insult reversed as soon as possible, especially after the way Bercow has behaved in post so far (appallingly).

There is the other small matter of his expenses, which I would have thought were so dodgy as to exclude him from taking charge of the cleanup of the henhouse (or is that nuthouse?). Doghouse?

As to him being an 'intelligent man' - well, I've no doubt that's true. He's an MP on the gravy train who stuck two fingers up to his own party and still landed on his feet with a plush post he neither deserves and nor can adequately fill. Very intelligent, that.

Clearly, this Dale post is some kind of wind-up. For one thing, as the author well knows, there are plenty of other, far better candidates whose integrity vis a vis expenses scandals is completely intact, like Kate Hoey. She's "intelligent" too.

Besides, if it was taken away from the ill-favoured incumbent and handed over to a decent Labourist (as was the recent tradition prior to the Blair/Brown stitch-up as everyone knows) that'd be one more for us (if Bercow counts as a Tory any more - not sure he does), and one less for them (and a good one too).

Bercow out!

Maverick Ways said...

Seems you were right about the "selective hearing" based on the live broadcast.


Glyn H said...

I had no idea of his faith and care less but he is a parvenu and seemed partisan towards Labour and patronising to his former collegues. The fact that his wife embarassed him and the house is unhelpful. He was voted in by Labour as a joke on the Tories for getting the apppalling Martin out (as misguided and incompetent Labour politician as could be imagined).

I think you might be wrong on this one Iain.

Anonymous said...

Of course in the end the whole 'Ming for Speaker' thing turned out to be hogwash and the 'No to Bercow' campaign was an embarrassing damp squib.

A few voices raised in the Commons and no objections when Peter Tapsell declared "the Ayes have it."

Pathetic really.

Hamish said...

"Why I'd vote for Bercow".
You don't have a vote, get over it.

"I would have voted for Alan Haslehurst last time".
You don't have a vote, get over it.

And the only reason you changed your allegiance back from Campbell to Bercow is that you realised the latter would win.

Moriarty said...

Well it seems that thanks to Sir Peter Tapsell's selective hearing you wouldn't have had the chance to vote for Bercow.

Rush-is-Right said...

Bercow us a grubby little jerk appointed to the job by his pals in the Labour party as a final act of spite.

He has to go.

Jimmy said...

"When Mrs T didn't like the decor at No. 10 she had it changed at her own expense."

If only more of our politicians could follow her example and find themselves wealthy husbands.

Unsworth said...

Well you've got your wish, Iain.

I still wouldn't trust Bercow, nor do I believe he's up to the job. He's going to have to prove himself, and so far he's floundering.

We shall see. Incidentally, is he likely to be governed by the potential 'recall' legislation? I think that as he stood as MP for Buckingham he should be.

Joe Public said...

The troughing Bercows even had the Taxpayer fork out £80 for a kitchen clock.

Disdain & contempt is all they deserve.

Jon Lishman said...

Pretty tough moderation policy you've got going here now Mr D. Curious.

Jon Lishman said...

Ah. I see. Busy man and all that. Sorry :)

Newmania said...

Was there a dwarf called creepy? There is now

Lady Finchley said...

I wonder how many of the vicious commenters really know him and are not parrotting something they've read - not many I'd wager.

Desperate Dan said...

I think most people have formed their opinions about Bercow by noting the disgraceful manner of his election and by watching his appalling performances at PMQs. When Michael Martin resigned there were high hopes that a Speaker would be chosen who could command some respect and restore honour to the position. Those hopes were dashed as were the hopes that Bercow would be displaced yesterday.

James Higham said...

Bizarre, Iain. The man clearly needed to be ousted, which is why real conservatives are so agin him.

Unsworth said...

@ Lady Finchley

So you think that critics might be more tolerant of his incompetences and his bias if they 'knew' him?


No doubt he's a lovely chap to 'those who know him'. What's that got to do with his job and his history? He can be observed in the chamber regularly. He's made a point of projecting himself in the media. Would you hazard that this public face is merely a disguise for another reality?

And, in the end, how well does one have to 'know' Bercow?