Too Early for “Bercow Must Go”

Bercow on Probabtion

With the support of only 3 members sitting on the benches of the next governing party never in living memory has a new speaker so divided the house. Already the drum beat has started to undermine him.  Don’t get Guido wrong, there is good reason to be wary of Speaker Bercow.

He is the candidate of a party on the way out.  Like a drunk being thrown out of the pub they have spat on the floor before they got thrown out the door.  Bercow is disliked intensely by those who know him best, the longer you have known him, the less you like him. He was championed by Julian Lewis, who fought a dubious and disingenuous campaign against the public finding out about house flipping by MPs.  In the run up to his election Bercow called for a 60% pay increase for MPs. These are not good omens.

Putting aside Guido’s personal animosity, there are some good things to be said for Bercow.  No one doubts his energy or his ability to articulate his views.  They are not things that could be said for the last Speaker.

Speakers-OfficeThere is no point undermining him before we see how he actually performs in the job.  There is now an opportunity for a great reforming Speaker to drive through reforms that regain for parliament the ability to hold the government to account and in check.  Bercow has been elected on a manifesto promising to modernise procedures, strengthen democratic oversight of the government and make parlaiment more transparent.  If he sets the course for great reform let him keep his job.  If he fails, the next parliament should not hesitate to find someone else who can do the job.

UPDATE : Dale reminds Guido that Bercow promised that any minister who made an announcement to the media instead of the House first would be called to explain himself before parliament. Watch out for that, Guido’s money is on Ed Balls doing it first. Wonder what will happen if Mandelson does it…



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Quote of the Day

Former Miliband guru Arnie Graf reveals Labour’s disconnect with the working class:

“On one of my trips to the U.K. in the autumn of 2013, I bumped into one of Ed’s strategists in Portcullis House. He asked me if I was assisting the staff on Ed’s trip that was to take place in a few days to one of the regions. I told him that I did not have knowledge of his planned trip.

He told me that Ed was going to give a talk at the region’s annual fund raising dinner and that prior to the dinner he had invited the media to join him at a local coffee shop to listen to a conversation he planned to have with a minimum wage worker. The point of the conversation was to show how difficult it was for a minimum wage worker to get on in life.

There was only one problem. No one had been able to locate a minimum wage worker for Ed to talk with.”

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