May 18, 2009

The Speaker will cling on

I think the Speaker of the House of Commons did enough today to cling onto his big green seat.

He was, of course, awful. Woeful. Abysmal. He needed a good showing, and he summarily proved he didn’t know House of Commons rules by getting confused over the technical arcania of substantive motions. I was momentarily transported back to student politics.

Shudder.

But he was nice to Gordon Prentice and Douglas Carswell who did their very best to rile him.

This was out of character, and was the one solitary thing he did today that was different from last week. Hidden in his measured, if stuttered tone was a smidgen of a whiff of a note of change.

The Speaker didn’t give the people (nor the media) what they wanted though. No retirement date. No immediate release of every MP’s expenses. And beyond that faint dram of forced friendliness, no sign of change.

He doesn’t want to go. The PM may want him to go politically, but electorally a by-election in the until-now safe Glasgow North East seat would be disastrous. And a contrived band of Scottish friends, led by the ridiculous Lord Foulkes, don’t want him to go.

All they have by way of weaponry is the sharp sword of convention.

Rarely do five or six people stand up to sixty million and win. In this battle, full of history and precedents, they just might.


- 4 comments by 3 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. Luke Parks

    I wouldn’t lay odds on him surviving that much longer, especially not if the government does give time for debate on Carswell’s motion; he’d win the vote, but the chances are that a large enough number of MPs would vote against him that he’d be fatally damaged. After all, people were openly criticising him in the House today and nothing happened to them – when it’s gone that far, how can the Speaker go on?

    18 May 2009, 21:33

  2. Mike Willis

    “I wouldn’t lay odds on him surviving that much longer, “

    Me neither- Under-fire Speaker to step down

    19 May 2009, 12:51

  3. Jimmy Buckland

    Oh well – called that one wrong. I found the way in which other MPs rounded on him yesterday utterly distasteful.

    19 May 2009, 13:32

  4. Christopher Doidge

    Yeah, that was a Brown-like kiss of death.

    19 May 2009, 13:34


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