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.
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.