August 18th, 2014

Speaker Watch: How Bercow Will Spin the Canberra Criticism

An astonishing intervention from the Clerk of the Australian parliament has put a cat – or a tiger – among the pigeons.

The selection of Carol Mills for the £190,000 job of presiding over parliamentary procedure was described by the highest officer in the Australin parliament as bizarre. An affront. An embarrassment.

You need a peculiarly corkscrew vision to see into the Speaker’s ways. His appointment of a chief clerk who knows nothing about clerking is a fine example of his twistiness.

Australian Carol Mills, director of facilities in Canberra parliament, was appointed to the £190,000 job by a panel selected – unprecedentedly – by the Speaker.

The appointment has been gathering controversy over the summer recess for more reasons than one. It’s a power grab. The process was improperly managed. It’s an example of his policy of Diminish and Rule. It’s effectively abolishing the position of Chief Clerk. It has astonished the Commons.

Opposition is gathering on all sides. Labour, Tory, male, female, legal and parliamentary.

But let us look ahead. The Speaker wants to present this row as Tory men opposing any attempt to modernise the House of Commons.

Criticism of Carol Mills will be spun by him as evidence of misogyny and conservative reaction. He wants it to be seen as a battle between Labour women and Tory men.

Yesterday’s story in the Mail on Sunday undermines this cunning plan. The testimony of the clerk of the Australian Senate attacks the appointment on grounds of professionalism and experience.

Clerk Rosemary Laing wrote:

“We were utterly taken aback when we heard Carol Mills was front-runner to replace Sir Robert Rogers and have followed events with disbelief and dismay.

“It seems impossible someone without parliamentary knowledge and experience could be under consideration for such a role. It is bizarre and an affront.”

This is not a battle for female equality. This is a display of the Speaker’s increasingly erratic campaign against his ancestral enemies, the ones who snubbed and snobbed him in his youth.

Leave his pathology to one side.

Has he considered the effect of this appointment on Carol Mills herself?

She will have been lured out of her depth. Tempted out of her circumference. Brought in to operate in an intensely alien environment by the Speaker’s assurances, his guarantees and under his protection.

Australian women have particular qualities of gutsiness, plain speaking and focusing on outcomes, unconstrained by precedent and convention. She may survive this.

But if she fails, she will serve the Speaker’s purposes just as well. Her martyrdom will help the Speaker’s long war against his enemies.

He has destroyed the career of more than one official. And Carol Mills wouldn’t’t be the first woman to be properly damaged by him, either.


  1. 1
    M­a­­q­b­o­­ul says:

    It’s all going upside down :)


    • 9
      RomaBert... says:

      Tits up by the sound of it!


      • 23
        Anonymous says:

        Baroness Boothroyd has just spoken on this.

        Radio 4 interviewer dire, but Boothroyd’s comments (circa 1327) well worth listening to.


        • 45
          Toxic Labour for Spongers, Scroungers, Parasites, Criminals, Layabouts & other Wasters says:

          This twisted and bitter little man, Bercow, is trying to destroy the nation bit by bit. He needs to go in front of a firing squad.


    • 13
      sir rob rogered says:

      what facilities was she managing – bars bogs & brothels?


    • 42
    • 44
      Combat: fight, battle against, do battle with, wage war against, take up arms against, strive agains says:

      avid Cameron just said that Britain is not taking up a combat role in Iraq.

      So just what is firing missiles, dropping bombs and killing with drones if not combat?


      • 47
        Combat says:

        Fight, battle against, do battle with, wage war against, take up arms against, strive against, contend with, tackle, attack, counter, oppose, resist, withstand, stand up to, face up to, make a stand against, put up a fight against, confront, defy;

        I would say that Dave has very definitely placed Britain in a combat role, in Iraq.


        • 148
          Anonymous says:



        • 153
          Roger Dewhurst says:

          Establish an American/French/British mandate over most of Iraq.

          The Islamic State is destroyed and the mandated territory disarmed.

          South-east, shia, Iraq become self governing South Iraq. It is not permitted any military activity within 50 kilometres of Kurdistan or the A/F/B mandate.

          The western and southern borders of Kurdistan are established on the basis of ethnicity and democratic choice. The Kurdish state is permitted armaments for defence.

          The eastern border of Syria is established subject to Syrian disarmament.

          Until Syria disarms every aircraft flying into, out of or through Syrian airspace will be shot down and all ships approaching Syrian ports will be sunk.

          The Americans, French and British take over and disarm Hamas in Gaza. In exchange for the West Bank Israel concedes land east and north of Gaza which becomes the unarmed state of Palestine which is self governing under A/F/B supervision.

          Those living on the West Bank are given the option of becoming Israelis or citizens of the new state of Palestine. If they opt for the latter they are assisted to move there. The Palestine-Israel border is opened.

          Hezbollah in Lebanon is disarmed and a civilian government continues under A/F/B supervision.

          Britain and France will be free to cancel the citizenship of islamic troublemakers and criminals and to deport them to the A/F/B mandated Iraq.

          The mandate and supervision will probably have to continue for at least fifteen years in both Palestine and Iraq to permit the development of stable democratic governments.

          If other European states wish to get rid of their islamic troublemakers they may do so if they contribute to the mandate.

          Iraqi oil will pay for the mandate and supervision.

          South Iraq will build and maintain an oil pipeline from Kurdistan to the Persian Gulf.

          Kurdistan will control the water supply to South Iraq.

          All that should fix a whole lot of problems in the Middle East, Britain and Europe!


      • 79
        The Establishment is infested with Nonces says:

        He means that we are not sending conventional armed forces to fight in any manner which could be portrayed as “boots on the ground”.


    • 51
      Bruce says:

      No Sheilas.


    • 136



    • 150

      Why does bathwater exit in an anti clockwise fashion out of an Australian bathtub ?
      Perhaps Carol Cobber will enlighten us when she arrives .
      That should be worth £ 190 k on its own — even if she goes on gardening leave for tbe rest of the year.


  2. 2
    Boris Spasticky says:

    “Australian women have particular qualities of gutsiness, plain speaking…”.

    What, like Julia Gillard.


  3. 3
  4. 5
    MB. says:

    Labour controlled Glasgow City Council have shot themselves in the foot.

    Evening Times

    Hundreds of US visitors cancel Glasgow trip following council’s decision to fly Palestinian flag


    • 12
      RomaBert... says:

      Excellent news……


      • 33
        Tinfoil Hat Maker says:

        Hopefully many more refusals to follow . The only shame is that trip alone would be worth a fortune to hotels and small business .
        The council must be very pleased at what they have achieved .

        This is typical lunatic behaviour from a party that thinks it could run a country.


    • 48
      Sinsbury gutless chief says:

      We are so pro palestina we are going to fly their flag and if the US carry on we will do the ITIT black flag.


    • 75
      táxpáyér says:

      We’ve asked Sainsbury’s if they also plan to stop selling anything made in Gaza, but they said they do not sell rockets.


    • 108
      geordieboy says:

      I commented on this last week. Another thing about Glasgow City Council is that they are predominately Roman Catholic. Even the Corporation buses were painted green white and gold like the Irish Republic Tricolour. Of course I m not so sure about the buses now as I was brought up in Glasgow from 1945 – 1961. The Labour controlled council has never changed since then. Good on the US tourists but the only people it will hurt is the shops and hotels. Another Labour fuck up.


  5. 6
    Anonymous says:

    She will need a Visa if she has an Australian passport

    Obviously there is no-one in this country available to do the job


    • 154
      Roger Dewhurst says:

      The Home Office Minister could simply tell the immigration authorities not to issue a work visa on the grounds that there are better qualified people in Britain today. That would put and end to the matter and the berk could do nothing about it.


  6. 7
    Anonymous says:

    As long as you regard Burke-o as the most enormous tosser, it all falls into place.


  7. 8
    Sir Fateous Piles (Dead liberal kiddie fiddler) says:

    Who will rid me of this meddlesome Ju


  8. 11

    Bold and Brilliant – IS does Satire:

    Vote UKIP :-D


  9. 15
    Anonymous says:

    Sort of sums up media these days —

    mistaking ear plugs for rubber bullets.


  10. 16
    Dave, Ed and Nick says:

    The health of our beloved Westminster parliament is a central concern for us. Except when it comes to Europe. And judges. And devolution…..


  11. 17
    James I & VI says:

    Despite all the indignation poured out on here about the odious little dwarf and his slag of a wife, nothing changes. If I had my way he’d be put on the rack like Guido’s namesake was back in 1605. Only trouble he’d be too short – well to begin with that is. As for employing the descendant of criminals, an Australian to boot, in the position being discussed, words fail. Just as well she isn’t called Matilda.


  12. 18
    Broon Bottle says:

    British Jobbies for British shirkers


  13. 19

    On every level this choice of bathroom tiling is wrong:

    Vote UKIP :-D


  14. 20
    nell. says:

    Continue to hope that bercow does not get re-elected in his own constituency in 2015 and that that will then see the end of this troughing couple who who have brought parliament into even greater disrepute than martin managed.


    • 31
      Anonymous says:

      Boris should be persuaded to offer to stand there.

      I suspect the party’s local association would welcome that.

      As would the wider Conservative Party, and probably MPs across the board.


    • 110
      geordieboy says:

      Nigel Farage stood against him at the last election and lost. It is common practice that the main political parties do not stand against the speaker. The little bastard thinks he has got a safe job until 2018.


    • 159
      Tom Catesby says:

      I used to like that Steve Martin when he was in the’ laugh in’ show, Nell.


  15. 24
    Sailor Sam says:

    In Tudor times something would have been cooked up and Mr Speaker would have lost his head literally. Unfortunately he remains intact and he is just loosing his head figuratively.

    Time for the post of Speaker, the First Commoner, to be combined with that of Leader of the House and to be purely ceremonial leaving debates to be chaired by high court judges on rotation.


  16. 25
    Farley the Charley says:

    Great, Bercow is destroying Parliament, just what’s needed, let’s turn the sewer back to a sewer and knock the building down and turn it into a car park, we can save a fortune after sacking all the 640 so called MPs and all the hangers on in the lords, we can pay the staff a decent redundancy and be quids in, carry on Bercow the sewer belongs to you, for now and as your just an MP you will get what you deserve from your electorate.


  17. 26

    I predict that Parliament won’t actuaaly do anything about this, because there is no money in it, nor any votes.


    • 32
      Anonymous says:

      Refer you to comment 23 above.

      Boothroyd has suggested that a select committee should look at all this.

      Very dismissive. Worth listening to.


  18. 27

    Bloody foreigners taking our jobs


  19. 28
    Sally says:

    John assures me he chose her for her looks.


  20. 34
    annoyed user says:

    Time somebody serious stood against this fool.


  21. 35
    Hitler had the right idea says:

    he seems to have a thing for drunken uncouth women

    obviously a masochist, sally probably forces him to eat her cream pies


  22. 36
    sixupman says:

    Can someone set-up a “” petition, on the issue?


  23. 39
    Alex Salmonella says:


    • 43
      M­a­­q­b­o­­ul says:

      They would if Salmond reneged on his share of the National Debt.

      Academic though, the vote will be NO.


      • 52
        Farley the Charley says:

        The Scots will vote NO and us English will take the piss out of them for the next thousand years or more when they have another referendum and vote NO again, I can go to North Britain after next month and instead of getting the history of Scotland and the tour and what us nasty Englishmen did to the poor Scots and shout NO to freedom but YES to benefits, the enjoyment after years of listening to the Scots go on and on and the embarrassment when I tell them they voted NO to be English slaves and you can’t blame the English, we never had a referendum.


        • 59
          Jock McSponger says:

          You’re a typical Ingerlish basta’d, ain’t ye?

          Basta’ds, all of ye! Filthy basta’d Ingerlish basta’ds, I hate ye!

          PS: send more money.


        • 105
          Dorkass says:

          In. Duh. Pen. Dense.


        • 128
          Ye can tak' ma freedom but ye'll ne'er tak' ma bennies! says:

          The indie vote is a win-win for England.

          If they vote indie, then we get rib of Labour and the benefits drain.

          If they vote status quo, then as you say, we can take the piss for the next thousand years.


  24. 40
    Hogarth's Ghost says:

    Why is Richie Benaud in the picture?


  25. 46
    David Axlegrease says:


    • 55
      Farley the Charley says:

      You don’t and will never represent me as the only time I will vote Liebour is when I’m dead and one of your cronies uses my name in a postal vote, even then you won’t represent me.


    • 57
      David Miliband says:

      + he took a Mickey Mouse degree and flunked the easiest part of it.


    • 129
      Kurius says:

      So how exactly did the Milibands become rich if daddy was a commie academic?


  26. 49
    SAA office says:

    When Gill Paye was promoted from paper clip counter to Sarjeant at arms John saw a precedent.


  27. 56
    Alex Salmonella says:


  28. 58
    Ziggy says:

    “It seems impossible someone without parliamentary knowledge and experience could be under consideration for such a role. It is bizarre and an affront.”

    I take it that this also applies to most MPs and members of the House of Lords? So basically she will quite at home! Blind leading the Blind?


    • 65
      Ed Miliband says:

      Next you’ll be saying that a multimillionaire immigrant who lhas never had a real job and who lives in a £2 million mansion paid for by ordinary workers and who has no idea whatsoever what the average family spends each week on food should not be leader of a party dedicated to socialism and British workers!

      PS. Cost of living crisis.


      • 69
        TUC BOSS says:

        Do as I say but NOT DO as I DO!


      • 87
        Anonymous says:

        No! Some Civil Servant Mandarins with art degrees should be controlling how money should be spent furthering the boundaries of science and technological advancement! Oh and the advancement of p**********!


    • 93
      The Establishment is infested with Nonces says:

      Actually, there are supposed to be experts in constitutional and parliamentary law and procedures to assist the MPs in the commons, in all areas of Commons duties.

      The problem is, her role is one of, if not The, most senior expert roles in the commons and she is utterly clueless about it.


  29. 60
    albacore says:

    Whoever Parliament’s working for
    It sure ain’t the British any more
    Forget this trifling nit-picking
    Give all the rats a good old kicking


  30. 61
    John Burqua says:

    Does it really matter? The weak governments of the last twenty years and the incoming mooz 2020 black flag government allied to a mooz EU means you are all fucked if you don’t comply. Think Mosul.


  31. 64
    Ocker Bogan says:

    Australian women have burnt jubblies and bucket-like minges.


  32. 70
    Massive Cock on a Train says:


  33. 91
    To the tinfoil hatters says:

    If there really was a higher level of governance.A supreme court of elite bankers/Juice/Arms manufacturers, then a twat like Bercow would be disappeared.

    Think about it.


  34. 95
    Fed Up with the sexually abusive posts on here says:

    Guido, can’t you do something about the sexually abusive posts against women which are constantly posted on here?
    Women should be feel free to be able to participate in politics without being subject to abusive comments aimed at their boobs and vaginas by the grotesque animals that roam the web. Nor should we have to read them in the political arena.
    What on earth is wrong with these people? If they want to wank over porn and talk dirty, there are websites for that.
    If this continues, like many other women, I will give your blogs a miss completely, which is a great pity on my own behalf.


  35. 96
    Very PC Plod says:

    I weep for the victims who paid people smugglers to get them into this country in a container lorry.


    • 107
      Are these fucking immigrants stiil here? says:

      Lock them in another container and send them home.


    • 131
      Maximum Mortius says:

      Their first act of coming to this country is to break our laws by coming in smuggled.

      It is a signal of their intentions, and they should be sent back immediately.

      The smuggling gangs should be hunted down and executed.


      • 145

        If they’ll do this to GET in, at just what illegality would they baulk, once they ARE in?????????????????!?!???

        The United Nations itself says that to be taken seriously, “refugees” must seek asylum in the first and closest country, most proximate to their point of origin, where they would not face that persecution from which they are purportedly fleeing.

        Not so much a container of genuine refugees.
        More a prospective container-sized parcel bomb.


  36. 100

    One for @BW:

    Vote UKIP :-D


  37. 109
    Watcher says:

    Reminds me of the time when a senior higher academic instition with which I am familiar head hunted a new Professor from an American university.

    Only when he got here they realised that a ‘Professor’ in US academic circles is a term employed for lecturers as well as senior academics.

    I believe he left shortly after his appointment.


    • 115
      Peter Ustinov says:

      That anecdote is not one of mine.


      • 117
        Alistair Boring - just say NO! says:

        Its better than most of mine.

        I remember one time, when the public sector borrowing requirement was being redrafted and the civil service, which at that time was subordinated to the treasury under the division of ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ


        • 146

          And it’s better than most of mine.
          After my daily morning viewing of the (extended edition with director’s commentary) Braveheart DVD, I have a bowl of grain-guaranteed-to-have-been-grown-north-of-the-border porridge before I (continued pg. 94)


  38. 118
    gildedtumbril says:

    It is Parky not Bercow, surely, in the cartoon?


  39. 133
    Rupert says:

    I could do with a shiela to “manage my facilities” now Becky and Wendi have pissed off


  40. 156
    Anonymous says:

    £190,000 pa to do what exactly ?
    Time focus was but on what?


  41. 160
    Anonymous says:

    “His appointment of a chief clerk”
    from a land where allegedly an injunction has been used to prevent discussion concerning possible irregularities in parliamentary activity, bodes well/badly. Erase Undesired Term From Sentence/Collective Consciousness, As Deemed Expedient? And history’s been Googled.


  42. 162
    Anonymous says:

    Bercow is a Berk of the first order….


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