Monday, August 25, 2014

Dominic Grieve Joins Anti-Bercow Bandwagon

Jesse Norman has spent the weekend canvassing support for his proposed motion. Dominic Grieve has joined those saying they will support a motion if it is put to a vote. The antithesis of a hothead, the former Attorney General’s support confirms how badly Bercow has judged this affair. A number of PPS level supporters have been confirmed and the support is broadly tri-partisan.

Guido would be not be in the least surprised if Bercow turns round later this week and says that he, of course, fully supports Jesse’s proposal for scrutiny of the appointment. If he doesn’t he could find he is the one who faces rejection by MPs in the new parliament…

Monday, August 18, 2014

Rich’s Monday Mid-Morning View

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Private Eye’s Bercow Bashing Two Weeks Out of Date

Lord Gnome is clearly a fan of this organ’s new feature, Speaker Watch. This week, Private Eye’s Gavel Basher takes a look at the recent bad behaviour of John Bercow, don’tchaluvim?, beginning with news of the failed attempt by Bercow, ain’tyasickofhim, to try to get his pal Julian Lewis the Defence Select Committee chair job. Shome mishtake, shurely, since this was something Guido reported two weeks ago (They’ve done this already, Ed).

The Eye go on, noting Bercow’s tactic of repeatedly calling Lewis to ask questions in the House to let him plug his credentials, despite his name not being on the order paper. Once again, Guido pointed this out two weeks ago (Get on with it, Ed):

Finally, the Eye brings you news of Bercow’s ill treatment of the recently departed Clerk of the House. News that appeared on Guido a month ago (You’re fired, Ed):

EYE3

Get your latest Speaker news from Guido, or in Private Eye two weeks later…

Friday, May 16, 2014

SPEAKER WATCH: The New Party in Parliament

On Wednesday, a Conservative rose on a point of order and was told points of order would follow the statement. Labour’s Hazel Blears rose on a point of order and was allowed to make it.

She declared she had nominated Julian Lewis for the imminent election, and urged people to go and vote “for what is a very important position for the future of the Defence committee.”

It is said that Ms Blears had been to see the Speaker before morning conference to arrange this point of order (which wasn’t a point of order, but a Speaker-endorsed plug for Julian Lewis).

It is now clear, even to observers outside parliament, that the Speaker runs candidates for elections and intervenes personally and powerfully in their favour.

Thus, Rosie Winterton – it is said – went into a meeting with the Speaker endorsing Keith Simpson for the chair – and came out endorsing Julian Lewis.

Labour whipped the vote – and failed to deliver the Speaker his preferred candidate (but that’s another story).

The Labour whips office whipped a vote on the Speaker’s instructions.

This is something new.

The Speaker had also backed Charles Walker for Chair of the Procedure committee.

The previous chair had recommended that the House debate the question of whether the Speaker should be re-elected by secret ballot. What chance of a Speaker-backed chair putting this report forward?

(more…)

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Another Old Etonian in Another Top Job
Rory Stewart New Defence Select Committee Chair

479 votes cast were cast, there was one spoilt ballot paper. After 7 stages of counting, old Etonian Rory Stewart was elected chair with 226 votes, beating the Speaker’s nark Julian Lewis on 212. Bercow defeat…

UPDATE: The full voting.

Basically Julian Lewis won really.

SPEAKER WATCH: Bercow Calls Fabbers a “Silly Man”

Dissent will not be tolerated. The Speaker didn’t want to take Michael Fabricant’s intervention at Welsh questions this morning, because apparently he is a “silly man”. Quite a bunfight:

Not very parliamentary…

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Speaker Watch: The Evolution of the Little Prince

John Bercow’s intention of being Parliament’s “ambassador” is evolving into something grander.

Much grander.

In the chamber, his condescension towards Members has become quite princely.

In the last month:

Mr Speaker: (To Simon Burns) He’s a lucky chappy; let’s call the fellow from Chelmsford. (Note royal ‘we’).

Mr Speaker: (To Ian Paisley) Order. The hon. Gentleman has already had one go. His appetite ought to have been satisfied for now. He seems to be a hungry caterpillar, but he will have to wait. Never mind.

Mr Speaker: I call the aviation Minister no less, Mr Robert Goodwill.

Mr Speaker: (To Francis Maude) Order. I am much obliged to the right hon. Gentleman. He is plodding on to the best of his ability, but I say to him politely that . . .

Mr Speaker: I wondered whether guidance was being proffered, but it was merely an expression of interest, in the form of a genuflection, from the Clerk at the Table.

Mr Speaker: The principals are present and correct and we can proceed with questions to the Prime Minister.

(more…)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Speaker Watch: MPs’ Contempt for Bercow’s ‘Advisory Council’

The Speaker’s Advisory Council on Public Engagement (est. 2010) turns out to be a real-world example of the satirical comedies Twenty Twelve and W1A.

“Stellar” professionals – Thoughtsmiths, Imagineers, Branding Experts – were called in by the Speaker on a mission to “point the House of Commons firmly towards the creation of a Parliament of the People by 2015.”

How did that go?

(more…)

Bercow’s New Staff Helpline Doesn’t Mention Sexual Harassment
Speaker Accused of “Hypocrisy” After Telling Guest to “F**k Off”

Parliamentary researchers have reacted with derision to John Bercow’s new sexual harassment hotline, which doesn’t even mention sexual harassment. The service, outsourced to Health Assured, offers support for all the problems you might expect except the one it they were brought in to deal with – MPs touching up their staff. Guido would advise any researchers lacking confidence in the new hotline to give us a call instead…

Meanwhile MPs are accusing Bercow of hypocrisy. One tells Guido the Speaker “regularly loses it” himself and has “temper tantrums”, recalling Bercow launching a “bonkers” four-letter tirade towards Sir Ian Kennedy, chairman of the MPs’ expenses watchdog, at an event he was hosting in Parliament. Guests were left “gobsmacked” after Bercow told Kennedy to “f*** off”. Who’ll police Parliament’s self-appointed policeman?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

How Bercow Turned Against the Clerk of the House

The Clerk – commonly regarded as one of the great Clerks – has only been there for two and a half years, remember. It’s a premature retirement for Sir Robert Rogers.

“It’s been very gruelling for him,” said one with a view of the action over the period. The Speaker turned against the Clerk in a very affirmative way. “Temper tantrums and childish behaviour every Monday morning. I’m not surprised he’s going, it’s exhausted him.

“The tragedy is, Robert helped the Speaker a lot in his campaign to get elected. If he (Bercow) had decided to work with him rather than against him, who knows what they could have achieved.”

Notice, the Clerk’s letter to the Speaker didn’t tender his resignation. It notified the Speaker he had already resigned (to the Queen). Nor was there any expression of gratitude to the Speaker or personal feeling towards him. An unprecedented absence.

The bullying hotline announced by Bercow will be interesting. There has been at least one complaint about him made to the internal system in the Commons – but it’s a brave person who complains to the Prince about the Prince.

Another witness said, “I wouldn’t speak to a dog in the way Bercow spoke to X (a senior member of the hierarchy).”

It’ll be interesting to see how many complaints it gets from the Speaker’s behaviour. No doubt the information will be closely held, accessible only by the highest office-holder in the Palace. Uh oh – the Speaker himself.

(more…)


Seen Elsewhere

Why Pollsters Could Be Wrong | John McDermott
Cameron Faces Vote of No Confidence or Rebellion | FT
Cameron Faces Revolt Over ‘Vow’ | Sun
It’s Time to Speak for England | John Redwood
It Was Me Who Taped Howard Flight | John Woodcock
Indy Editor: We Will Stay Afloat | Press Gazette
English Don’t Want Scotland to Stay at Any Price | Dan Hodges
England Must Have Self-Government Too | Mark Wallace
Next Year’s Election Will Be the Dirtiest Ever | Speccie
Chicken Salmond Runs Away From Sun Cabbie | Sun
Scary No Messages Don’t Add Up | Sun


VOTER-RECALL
Find out more about PLMR


Gyles Brandreth writes in his memoirs:

“Sunday, May 10, 1998

Early start: appearing on Breakfast With Frost, to be broadcast from 11 Downing Street. The Chancellor [Gordon Brown] is grouchily amiable, but so earnest — and still biting his fingernails to the quick.

After the show, he took us upstairs to his flat. He lives above No 10, while Blair and family are in the No 11 duplex, which is bigger and more like a proper house.

I was intrigued that, when he took us into his bedroom, the Chancellor rather ostentatiously opened the built-in wardrobes, as if he wanted us to see the women’s frocks that were hanging in there.

They looked quite large, but I don’t think they belong to Gordon. I assume they belong to his girlfriend [Sarah Macaulay, who he later married].

I presume he was keen for us to know that he has one — and that she’s not a ‘beard’. I don’t think he does anything without calculation.”



The British media are Hunts says:

Now the SNP know how UKIP voters feel all the time.


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