August 29th, 2014

Gallery Guido: The Questions Bercow Must Answer on Monday

The Speaker will stand up at 2.30 on Monday and make an announcement on the new Clerk. Because it could be the end of John Bercow’s Commons career he will make the speech of his life.

It will be a parliamentary masterpiece of apology, mild defiance, injured dignity and ostentatious consensus-seeking.

Players of Oratorical Bingo should look out for:

The timetable was dictated by the outgoing Clerk’s resignation. Process better than we had before. Advertised. Open competition. So necessary to meet the extraordinary challenges we face. All worked hard, interviewed many candidates, acted in good faith as servants of the House. I am the servant of the House. I am referring the matter back to the House in the form of the House of Commons Commission. They will report their recommendations back to the House.

Then, expect:

MP: Point of order!

Speaker: “First there are questions, then a statement by the Prime Minister. Points of order always come after the statement.” (He will want the Prime Minister first to paint a picture of global collapse, jihad, party defection, Euro-turmoil in order to make procedural points seem petty.)

MP: “But it IS after the statement. You’ve just made a statement!”

Speaker confers with Interim Clerk Natzler. Then, sensationally, “It was an announcement, not a statement.”

If MPs lose this argument, Points of Order may begin around 4.30 or 5pm, if the Speaker can drag proceedings out.

The Speaker will answer each point, some at filibustering length, some with the holding answer: “This is a matter for the House of Commons Commission. Let them do their work and report to the House.”

There are many questions outstanding. Here are some of the most important, as raised by Guido over the summer…

1. Ms Mills’ department is under two separate investigations by the Australian Senate – one is a wide-ranging inquiry into the failings of her department, and another for breach of privilege. The latter was described by Senator Hogg as “extremely serious” and caused an emergency debate in the Senate. Were these investigations made known to the panel. Was the seriousness of the charges made clear?

2.You have said to people that the timetable was dictated by Robert Rogers’ decision to leave early. But clerks only serve three to five years in the post. You had suggested splitting the roles before, it was your wish to so – why did you not prepare the way in good order over the last three years? If you wanted to split the roles, why didn’t you follow the proper procedure?

3. Where does all this leave the poor Ms Mills? She applied for a job that didn’t exist. Hasn’t she now got a case against us? I understand the Interim Clerk is considering legal action against the process you presided over. Will Ms Mills be suing as well?

4. The head hunters Saxton Bampfylde. Did they take up Ms Mills’ references? Were they aware how seriously the Senate was taking the accusations against Ms Mills’ department? What did they tell the panel? Whom did they tell ?

5. Why wasn’t the Chairman of Ways and Means on the panel? Why were Margaret Hodge and Julie Mellor? Who chose them and by what process were they approved?

6. Did you meet Ms Mills personally or professionally before her name was put forward as a candidate?

7. Will Ms Mills be granted a grace and favour residence, and if so, where and at what cost? Who will be moving into 3 Parliament St?

8. Ms Mills will be doing half the advertised job. Will she be getting half the salary?

8a) Between September this year and March next year, won’t Ms Mills be flying between here and Australia to give evidence to the Senate Inquiry into her department? How will she be able to concentrate on her work in Westminster with such an Inquiry going on?

9. If the post were re-advertised as a chief executive pure and simple, would there not be very many more applicants – now that no procedural knowledge is needed?

10. Is there not someone suitable inside the organisation with knowledge of how the place works? Or are you saying that experience of the Commons, or of the Palace of Westminster, or if London, or even of Britain is unnecessary? Wouldn’t a person so inexperienced be over-reliant on the views and preferences of her sponsor or employer?

11. There have been reports in the media that you interfered improperly with other House appointments. What recourse do we back bencher have to scrutinise or hold to account our Speaker when questions of propriety arise? Perhaps you could take advice from the Interim Clerk before answering?

12. There has never been such a shambles in the appointment of such an important official. Most of us are modernisers but this is giving modernisation a bad name. Nothing like this ever happened under the old system.

13. Whatever is decided by the House of Commons Commission , this needs a pre-appointment hearing to examine the whole process by which this shambles has come to pass.

14. (If he has agreed with Leader and Shadow Leader to suspend the process and have a committee looking into the splitting of the roles.) Now we have a front bench fix and the Executive interfering with a House matter to get you out of a hole. Is this what “the rights of back benchers to hold the Executive to account” has come to?

15a). Who will decide who is on this committee and its terms of reference? Or has that been decided between you and the Executive? Who would clerk this committee?

15b) Dr Rosemary Laing wrote of her dismay at the likelihood of Ms Mills’ appointment. It was suggested in the Guardian that this reaction was the result of rivalry between two equal officials. Isn’t that what you are proposing here – building in a structural conflict to a system that has been working co-operatively and effectively?

16. (If Ms Mills is proposed as a chief executive equal in standing with the Clerk.) You are presenting this as a compromise but isn’t it the case that it’s what you wanted all along ?

16a) Why do we need a select committee looking at t? Two reports have been against it. Why do you think the role needs to be split? Do you think clerks are incompetent managers? You wanted it and tried to force it through by fixing the panel so that Natzler didn’t get the job.

17. Your management of this process has been the worst in living memory. How would you know a good manager from a bad one? Should you not remove yourself from the process entirely?

18. You keep saying that the House of Commons Commission will deal with it. But four of the six members of the selection panel were Commons Commissioners. Isn’t that asking a body to investigate itself? Is that proper?

19. Given the weight and number of these points of order, given the question marks over the conduct of this process, given the history of questionable interference in House processes and given your adherence to the Nolan principles of public life – shouldn’t you submit yourself to a secret vote of confidence from the House?

If these points were raised and answered honestly, it’s hard to see how the Speaker could outlive the day.


146 Comments

  1. 1
    Lord Croker says:

    The House of Sleaze and Corruption. No speech from the little git will ever change it.

    Like

    • 15
      Oliver Cromwell says:

      I agree. We need to get rid of them all and start again.

      Like

    • 23
      Mycroft says:

      In a Country with so many really important and pressing issues, this site seems to just want to play out a personal vendetta, which has overtones of fiddling whilst Rome burns, but that reality seems lost here for the moment.

      Of late i have taken to not taking this place quite as seriously as a result, I enjoy the other threads and contribute and I suppose I just have accept that the continual bolleaux on this vendetta will continue.

      Get over it guys, he’s in place you hate the very sight of him, fine I loathe the guy down the road who mows his lawn at 7am on a Sunday morning, it doesn’t dominate my life as this little spat seems to dominate these pages.

      Just my opinion, your vendetta is a turn off.

      Like

      • 28
        Here's an idea says:

        Start your own blog

        Liked by 1 person

      • 32
        Search Google for a News site says:

        UR Wrong site mate. It says on the tin, tittle tattle, Rumour and Gossip

        Liked by 1 person

      • 49
        bíĹL¡è BØtTÿ says:

        *waves @ “Steve”*

        Like

      • 51
        Cpl Hicks says:

        I think as far as political and parliamentary matters go this is massive. Why shouldn’t geedes be reporting it?

        It’s a fundamental issue facing Parliament and could be a resigning matter for Bercow. The little tw@ is making a mockery of an already stinking institution. He is not helping its reputation….and nor is his dozy bint of a wife.

        Liked by 1 person

        • 83
          Mycroft says:

          Really…

          More massive than the headless enquiry?

          More massive than the ‘faux’ terrorist alert rise, in an attempt to give the incumbent PM some beefed up but entirely false status?

          More massive than the debacle in Rotherham?

          It’s a sideshow, it may not even be that, it could well be a non-story.

          It’s not massive, unless of course, molehills have become mountains of late.

          Like

          • Sensible Mature Person says:

            You have to learn to distinguish between short term news items and matters of import concerning the governance of the country. You appear to have been watching too much rolling TV news recently, and lost sight of the bigger picture.
            Go for a walk, it’ll freshen your mind.

            Like

          • Mycroft says:

            Don’t have a TV.

            Like

          • Jim says:

            It is corruption at the very heart of Parliament.

            This just a single example that has become public knowledge.

            If they can there will be a secret deal by blackmail or extortion to fix it.

            How do you think Rotherham was covered up.

            Cart before the Horse?

            Return Parliament to its former Standards and the rest will follow.

            Like

          • NO MOLEHILLS IN MY LAWN, NEIGHBOUR.
            SEE, WHAT I DO IS, I START MOWING THE LAWN AT 7AM ON A SUNDAY AND THAT F’UCKS THE MOLES OFF TO SUCH AN EXTENT THAT THEY MOVE GARDENS.
            BUT FOR SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER I’M GOING TO START AT 6AM

            Like

        • 124
          Vacancy at the White House says:

          Slut of a wife surely and what does that make him – no shame Bercow.

          Like

      • 82
        yaosxx says:

        Who the f&&k asked you??? – if you don’t like it then you can buzz off!!

        Like

        • 84
          Mycroft says:

          The invite asked me… it reads… ‘Leave a Comment’… it didn’t ask ‘Please tell me I’m right’.

          Like

          • Cpl Hicks says:

            Ok so what rumour and gossip is there about the terror threat rise? Rochdale has been on here for a while. Which part of the geedes crosshairs bit did you miss?

            This is a British politics blog and what the speaker is doing is a fundamental issue.

            If you’ve got something interesting to start regarding the terror issue why don’t you email it to geedes? I’m sure he’ll oblige by starting a thread if it’s worthy.

            The only thing I agree with you is about butler-slopbucket enquiry however, I’m sure as soon as an announcement is made faux will be all over it.

            Come back when it is!

            Like

          • Perry Neeham says:

            You’ve never really got over your sibling rivalry have you Mycroft?

            Like

          • YOU’RE WRONG.
            AND AT THE RISK OF STATING THE OBVIOUS, YOU’RE A C’UNT TOO.

            Like

          • John and Yoko says:

            Stop shouting, Neighbour.
            No wonder Mycroft is in so grumpy: he needs to get back to the Diogenes Club for a bit of Bed Peace and Hair Peace.

            Like

      • 130
        Diminutive Threat says:

        I agree. Bercow is dangerous but not top of the list.

        Like

      • 143
        The Critic says:

        What if the guy down the road is Bercow?

        Like

      • 146

        23 ‘7 am on a Sunday morning’ -as opposed to 7 pm on a Sunday morning, or to 7 am on a Sunday evening?

        Like

    • 111
      stun() says:

      Excellently written, sir. I particularly like the way that it starts mildly and progresses to speaker armageddon. I sincerely hope that it is used in the HoC in some way. Good work.

      Like

    • 113

      You re not Lord Croker — you re Michael Caine .
      — and not a lot if people know that.

      Like

      • 129
        Filthy bleedin' pervert with weiner in hand in anticipation says:

        EEh lass! We’ve seen yer bum now wharrabout gettin’ yer tits out fer’t lads?

        Like

    • 145
      Jim says:

      Parliament is a cesspit .End of story.

      Like

  2. 2
    Silly Sally B13COW says:

    Will anyone notice when he stands up ?

    Like

  3. 3
    David Cameron says:

    As a result of Islamist activity the UK threat level has been raised from ‘severe’ to ‘lock up your daughters’

    Like

    • 7
      Tony Blair says:

      What we need Dave *waves hands*, is,,, is, *stares into camera* more Tanks at Heathrow Airport *waves hands* as it will keep the oiks mollified.

      That advice was pro bono, any more, I say any more is of course chargeable.

      Like

      • 11
        MOD says:

        Do we have any tanks these days?

        Like

        • 16
          Albert's chainsaw sharpeners says:

          Nobody get any tanks these days for doing anything to help anybody.

          Like

        • 17
          Tony Blair says:

          Not an issue. (For a consideration) I could ask one of my Dictator clients. I’m sure they will lend us some so long as they aren’t busy using them to massacre their people of course.

          Like

        • 18
          my moustache is luxuriant says:

          We have, arguably, the best tanks and tank crews in the world.
          Just not that many.

          Like

          • If you say so... says:

            Is that ‘best… in the world’ anything like the NHS ‘best… in the world’ or the Metropolitan Police ‘best… in the world’, by any chance?

            Like

          • rick says:

            I would imagine tanks are now obsolete and only good against civilians. They must be extremely vulnerable to attack by air and ground guided weapons.

            Like

          • my moustache is luxuriant says:

            Er, no.

            Claims on ‘best in the world’ are made by the Met and the NHS themselves. It’s delusion.

            Our tanks and their crews are rated by our military allies as some of the best.

            You missed the ‘arguably’ in my post.

            Which means your post sucked.

            Like

          • Frankie goes to Bollywood says:

            War, what is it good for?

            Like

        • 72
          Erwin Rommel says:

          Tanks are so 1940s

          Like

      • 139
        pro bono says:

        As a rock star, Dave, you have two instincts, You want to chillax, and you want to change the world. You can do both.

        Like

    • 29
      Run for cover! Dave's trying to grab headlines again! says:

      “Prime Minister David Cameron said IS poses a “greater and deeper threat to our security than we have known before”. – Sky News.

      OK, so the PM can’t remember the Cold War and its threat of imminent nuclear armageddon, and he doesn’t know much about WW2, WW1, Napoleon..

      What a twát.

      Like

    • 33
      Jen The Blue says:

      Am I cynical in thinking this is a good day to bury the recent Carswell story by announcing an increase in the terror threat?

      Liked by 1 person

      • 55
        Dave "hyperbole" Cameron says:

        IS represents a greater threat to our survival than the meteorite that killed-off the dinosaurs.

        Like

    • 45
      Anonymous says:

      My armour is simply going to be strips of raw streaky bacon sewn together.

      Like

  4. 4
    John Bercow says:

    Maybe I will just say

    “Suck it up, losers”

    No one can oppose me I am invincible.

    Not to mention I am a legend in my own lunchtime.

    Like

    • 112
      Anonymous says:

      In that case..

      I suspect Boris Johnson will be persuaded to offer to stand in Buckingham constituency come GE 2015

      Like

  5. 6
    Chuka identifies yet another photo op. says:

    Like

  6. 8
    Hang him high says:

    Well, about four foot will do!

    Like

  7. 9
    He's toast, lets get back to some fucking muslims says:

    http://www.mrctv.org/sites/default/files/embedcache/127748.html

    Like

    • 34
      dave says:

      If only we had people with the guts to speak out like this. The Americans can thank their First Amendment that allows them to do so without the fear of the PC police arresting them, as they do in the UK.

      Like

  8. 10
    The Westminster Way says:

    All very well Guido, but the careerist cowards who pretend to represent us are not going to vote this useless git out of office or clean up their act. There’ll be a load of hurrumphing, some ttting and eyebrow action, after that a few throats will be cleared and they’ll move on to the next bit of bullshit Westminster displacement activity.

    Like

  9. 12
    dave says:

    He’s worse than Gorbals Mick. What a prat !

    Like

  10. 13
    Having fixed the phone lines Chuka lends a hand in the Mencap Office says:

    and surprise surprise, a photographer just happened to be in the office too.

    Like

  11. 14
    Owen Jones says:

    Far Left press outlet refer to me as “Super-Fascist”; I should imagine that a Fascist Superhero would be pretty good.

    Like

    • 43
      Skidmark Jones says:

      So long as you don’t start wearing your underpants on the outside of your trousers.

      Like

    • 78
      5th November sounds good says:

      Like the public servants in Rotherham…$hit at their job and hard faced with it when confronted…I can feel the nation is almost ready for a Guy Fawkes bonfire of the current political/public establishments

      Like

  12. 19
    Jealous Yankee says:

    In the end, it will mean nothing. Bercow will remain speaker and he will get his appointment in. The rotting hull of democracy has sunk.

    Like

    • 31
      Someone says:

      Exactly. Hardly anything that goes on in Parliament these days is any use or relevance to ordinary British people. These people are utter wastes of space.

      Like

    • 140
      A. Hitler, Labour, says:

      No. It’ll be like the expenses: they’ll introduce a system that is even more expensive than the original corruption for the minor points, and the major points will continue.

      Like

  13. 22
    Question 4 dave says:

    If the plod can’t catch Islamic R@PISTS on the streets of Rotherham even though they have been identified, named and witnessed what chance have they with an Islamic terrorist trying not to be found?

    Like

  14. 25
    John Bercow says:

    The worst part is that Sal will probably be at home swigging Chablis between big black dicks.

    Like

  15. 27
    Wah wah pedal says:

    Excellent observation and writing as ever Mr. Carr, always a superb read.

    Like

  16. 38

    Vote UKIP :-D

    Like

    • 50
      Socialism Ate My Future says:

      You should try “Vineyard of the saker” it may interest you as it’s related to the above and a kinda sit-rep RT style from Ukraine.

      Like

    • 57

      Important announcement from P’oland:

      Bit of arcane intl law here. Res 3314 defines ‘crimes of aggression’.

      These are split into two: ‘aggression’, which gives rise to international responsibility, and ‘war of aggression’, which is a crime against international peace.

      h**ps://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/instree/GAres3314.html

      The international responsibility aspect is of interest as word is that P’oland may intervene in the R’ussia-U’kraine conflict.

      G’ermany today stated that R’ussia’s actions in U’kraine constitute a ‘military intervention’. The EU appears to still be shying away from 3314. That can only be for political reasons but is unnecessary as its hand is strong and R’ussia is clearly in a mood for escalation period.

      Elsewhere:

      ‘In a very well-done graphics, R’ussia’s R’ossiya 24 shows (with an arrow) that onslaught on M’ariupol is coming from R’ussia.’
      h/t @NatVasilyevaAP

      P’utin sported his Alan Partidge look today at his youth camp bash in Seliger.

      Other than replying to a question about if government had been established in R’ussia with the response ‘God Knows’, he stated that the people of U’kraine and R’ussia are one, R’ussia does not need the UN and G’ermany should not be ashamed of H’itler. It was quite interesting.

      One young lady who asked whether K’azakhstan could face a similar fate to U’kraine did sweeten her serious question with a compliment about P’utin’s jumper.

      Recommend digging this one out. Keep in mind what is happening in U’kraine at present as he talks jobs and future of R’ussia with the students.

      Vote UKIP :-D

      Like

    • 60
      Barak Obama says:

      And I say to the people of Balticstan America is with you.

      Like

    • 66

      Where’d he get that suit….David Bryne?

      Like

  17. 56
    bíĹL¡è BØtTÿ says:

    Most of these comments is repeats , ain’t thet Giudo ???

    Like

  18. 65
    Sally Bercow says:

    I look at it like this. Nowadays Ships and Airliners cross the Atlantic hundreds of times daily and nobody cares. Columbus and Lindberg are remembered because they were pioneers and did something that nobody had ever done before. Its the same with Douglas Carswell. He is an innovator, a visionary, and a virtuoso.

    Like

  19. 76
    Anonymous says:

    8 Tories preparing to defect to UKIP UK Terror alert level raised.

    Like

    • 92
      UK Terror Alert Wallah says:

      We only go to eleven, unfortunately.

      Meanwhile, they’ll be showers up north and clear slots down south. Some of these may gang up, get their acts together, and turn into a late summer.

      Like

  20. 79
    Mrs May says:

    UK Threat Level now raised to Severe. Please be alert for anyone wearing pyjamas and owning a bushy beard…they’ll be the terrorists.

    Like

    • 94
      Cpl Hicks says:

      Any Brazilians who have outstayed their visas I suggest now would be a good time to bugger off home. If you don’t you might end up getting shot in the face by the police.

      Like

  21. 81
    Big D says:

    Could’nt someone just do the decent thing and chuck the Speaker off one of the bar terraces into the Thames along with the wife ?

    Like

    • 87
      Old Father Thames says:

      But think of the wildlife, the migrating salmon.. all those eels and whelks for the cockneys.

      Like

    • 93
      Elsie Beattie (83 and a quarter) says:

      Isn’t the, Thames-bypassing, mega-sewer accepting waste yet, dear?

      Like

  22. 86
  23. 102
    idon'tneednodoctor says:

    Bercow is a jumped up twat. Sack him ffs and get someone decent.

    Like

  24. 104

    Hopefully he gets the boot!

    Like

  25. 105
    H.M. says:

    Who will rid me of this turbulent turd?

    Like

  26. 107
    Old Blue Eyes says:

    If the Speaker gets his marching orders what’s to become of Silly Moocow? Do you think her friends the travelling community will take her in.

    Like

    • 137
      Little Johnny Bercow says:

      She’s going nowhere.

      She went to Notting Hill last Friday and hasn’t woken up since the chauffeur carried her home on Tuesday morning.

      Like

  27. 125
    Vacancy at the White House says:

    The latest slant the BBC and the enrichments are trying to put on the Rotherham revealed coverups is…………………what went wrong in THIS town? FFS it’s happening and has been happening in every town/city where these people have inserted themselves.

    The general public know it to be true, pity the Lib/Lab/Con never get outside their ivory towers and confront the reality the general public have to endure, correction native white public have to endure.

    Like

    • 142
      A. Hitler, Labour, says:

      25 years ago a Bradford girl told me she couldn’t walk through the Parky Stanley areas alone because she’d get harassed by the sexually immature yoot.

      Seen it in India too — juvenile attitudes cos the girls are locked away. They had/have a constant problem with “Eve-teasing”

      Like

  28. 131
    Simon Cowell says:

    Britain’s Got the Talent

    Like

  29. 132
    Anonymous says:

    The Ombudsman. The external member of the panel. There to see fair play. So she’s either a fool or a knave.

    Like

  30. 133
    John Bercow says:

    Thank you very much, Simon. I didn’t have a clue what to say until now.

    Like

  31. 134
    Anonymous says:

    “Questions Bercow Must Answer on Monday”
    Are you now considering, or might you intend at some juncture in the future, applying for the redaction of whatever happens next from Google?

    Like

  32. 136
    Owen's Remedial English teacher says:

    “So necessary to meet the extraordinary challenges we face.”

    “So necessary” that what?

    Like

  33. 144
    Nemesis says:

    When I look at the present inefficient lot of politicians and toe curling idiots like Bercow I just despair for this country.

    Like


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cynic says:

Can anyone help me? I went on holiday a week ago and returned to find someone has pulled out the stake and Gordon Brown is back and acting as Prime Minister. What did I miss? Has there been a snap election?


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