SPEAKER WATCH:  It’s a Question of Survival Now

How he used to suck at the udders of the House when it came to points of order. After taking half a dozen Bercow would coax, nibble, squeeze another lot out. “Any more? Anyone? Just a little one? Who’s got something for me?”

What a difference from today.

Michael Fabricant rattled his teeth with two questions. Why were recruiters Saxton Bampfylde prevented from telling the panel that Carol Mills was under two separate Inquiries in the Australian Senate? And was it the case that Carol Mills wasn’t even originally recommended by these head hunters?

The Speaker had begun the week emolliently promising a full, frank and friendly examination of all these questions. He almost snarled that Fabricant was “unfortunately but predictably wrong on both counts,” then blustered into an ad hominem attack on him for not having been in the chamber on Monday or if he had been he hadn’t asked a question but there it was and it was now time to move on.

In other words, “I am guilty as charged and if I don’t keep moving they’ll have the cuffs on me.”

Chris Pincher got even shorter shrift. He quoted an Andrew Sparrow report of “sources close to you” disparaging clerks, and…

He was shut up, told to sit down and – insultingly, some might think – told to “rise to the level of events.”

He is the rudest Speaker the House has ever had. And I speak as a connoisseur of rudeness. Bercow is in a class of his own.

But this is starting to look like the beginning of play proper.

He has been challenged, he may have lied to the House.

Was Carol Mills on the original long list of Saxton Bampfylde’s recommended candidates, or did John Bercow insist she be included?

Was Saxton Bampfylde prevented from informing the selection panel of the two Senate Inquiries into her department?

Bercow made a non-specific rebuttal. In what way Fabricant was wrong on both counts he didn’t say. He jinked away from an explanation. What on earth can be the reason (innocent face)?

Saxton Bampfylde’s reputation must be taking a pounding. Why don’t they say what happened? Are they afraid the Speaker will sue them?

The Speaker will not sue. The disclosure process would ruin him.

Edward Leigh made a point of order helpful to the Speaker. In a democracy “it is vital to uphold the authority of the Chair.”

That cuts both ways. If the Chair behaves in such a way to lose that authority he should go.

PS: further developments.

1) The meeting of the House of Commons Commission on Monday to try and fix this is now irrelevant. It is now firmly in the hands of the House via a select committee to consider the splitting of the roles into Clerk and CEO.

2) The issue will rumble on for months while the committee considers its evidence.

3) The Speaker will try to get Labour to whip against the Motion to establish the committee. It would go against convention, whipping a vote on House business – but it’s a question of survival now.




Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Sadiq Khan does stand up…

“I’m the son of a bus driver. I used to love that line… then Sajid fucking Javid came along. You wait for years for the son of a Muslim bus driver to turn up and two come along at once.”

Top Posts This Week

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

CCHQ FREEZE MPS AND ASSOCIATIONS OUT OF VOTE SOURCE CCHQ FREEZE MPS AND ASSOCIATIONS OUT OF VOTE SOURCE
OSBORNE MISSED BORROWING TARGET BY EVEN MORE THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT OSBORNE MISSED BORROWING TARGET BY EVEN MORE THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT
POLICE INVESTIGATING SHADOW MINISTER OVER ELECTION EXPENSES POLICE INVESTIGATING SHADOW MINISTER OVER ELECTION EXPENSES
TOOTING BY-ELECTION CAMPAIGN KICKS OFF IN BATTERSEA TOOTING BY-ELECTION CAMPAIGN KICKS OFF IN BATTERSEA
ELECTORAL COMMISSION ON JOCK-‘COPTER CAMPAIGN ELECTORAL COMMISSION ON JOCK-‘COPTER CAMPAIGN
STURGEON DUCKS CHOPPER QUESTION STURGEON DUCKS CHOPPER QUESTION
NUS CHIEF EXECUTIVE PAID FIVE TIMES AVERAGE GRADUATE NUS CHIEF EXECUTIVE PAID FIVE TIMES AVERAGE GRADUATE
CORBYN CLAPPED COMMIE LEADER FOR REFUSING TO TOAST THE QUEEN CORBYN CLAPPED COMMIE LEADER FOR REFUSING TO TOAST THE QUEEN
SNP CHOPPER NOT DECLARED PROPERLY SNP CHOPPER NOT DECLARED PROPERLY
SADIQ RAISES EU FLAG ABOVE CITY HALL SADIQ RAISES EU FLAG ABOVE CITY HALL
SAJ ‘PRIVATELY SAID HE WANTED TO LEAVE’ SAJ ‘PRIVATELY SAID HE WANTED TO LEAVE’
CRICK CRICK’D CRICK CRICK’D
EU WANTS CULTURAL QUOTAS ON NETFLIX AND AMAZON PRIME EU WANTS CULTURAL QUOTAS ON NETFLIX AND AMAZON PRIME
LIBDEM WHO COMPLAINED TO POLICE ABOUT TORY ELECTION FRAUD BROKE SPENDING RULES LIBDEM WHO COMPLAINED TO POLICE ABOUT TORY ELECTION FRAUD BROKE SPENDING RULES
LABOUR WON’T ALLOW CONFERENCE DELEGATES TO SELF-IDENTIFY LABOUR WON’T ALLOW CONFERENCE DELEGATES TO SELF-IDENTIFY
WORST BEATLES TRIBUTE BAND EVER WORST BEATLES TRIBUTE BAND EVER
CELEBRITY CONSUMER CHAMPION HITS BACK AT BSE CELEBRITY CONSUMER CHAMPION HITS BACK AT BSE
MOMENTUM REJOICE! ONLY 65% THINK CORBYN NOT READY TO BE PM MOMENTUM REJOICE! ONLY 65% THINK CORBYN NOT READY TO BE PM
TAXPAYER FUNDED ASH LOBBIED GOVERNMENT FOR PLAIN-PACKS TAXPAYER FUNDED ASH LOBBIED GOVERNMENT FOR PLAIN-PACKS
REMAIN’S GILLIAN DUFFY MOMENT REMAIN’S GILLIAN DUFFY MOMENT
NORTHERNERS MOCK “GRIM UP NORTH” BURNHAM NORTHERNERS MOCK “GRIM UP NORTH” BURNHAM
LONG-TERM RISE OF ANTI-POLITICS LONG-TERM RISE OF ANTI-POLITICS
SUPREME COURT FINDS IN FAVOUR OF PJS SUPREME COURT FINDS IN FAVOUR OF PJS
Earth is Greener! Earth is Greener!
JUSTIN TRUDEAU ELBOWS FEMALE MP IN CANADA COMMONS FRACAS JUSTIN TRUDEAU ELBOWS FEMALE MP IN CANADA COMMONS FRACAS
GOVE TURNS HIS BACK ON MONARCHY GOVE TURNS HIS BACK ON MONARCHY
EMILY THORNBERRY’S WHITE VAN MAN STYLE OUTBURST EMILY THORNBERRY’S WHITE VAN MAN STYLE OUTBURST
13 LABOUR MPS DIDN’T DECLARE HATTIE’S PINK BUS 13 LABOUR MPS DIDN’T DECLARE HATTIE’S PINK BUS
DENNIS SKINNER ISN’T FUNNY DENNIS SKINNER ISN’T FUNNY
HARD LEFT SILENT OVER VENEZUELA CHAOS HARD LEFT SILENT OVER VENEZUELA CHAOS