Wednesday, April 2, 2014

PMQs SKETCH: Titanic Fights in the Commons

Cosy capitalism against Socialism, sir. Public versus private ownership. Primrose Hill versus the Playing Fields of Eton. Tax cuts versus the Collective. Labour bellowing versus Tory barrage.

My niche interest is the fight between Better Bercow and Bad Bercow.

The new iteration – I-Don’t-Hate-Tories – is a success. We should pay tribute to it, celebrate it rather than carp.

But Better Bercow can’t keep Bad Bercow in its kennel.

What must be going in that inner court of his, where he remonstrates with himself: “Your constant interruptions are just prolonging the proceedings. Your attention-seeking behaviour is childish, you need to grow up and the sooner the better. And the way you call Andrew Selous – the public detest it! Your electorate hate it! If you go on like this they’ll have you out after the next election!”

Good Bercow has been prevailing, but when provoked, Bad Bercow slips the leash.

We can thank Simon Burns for that. Or that corner where he sits with Alec Shelbrooke in a supporting role behind him. Anna Soubry, Tim Loughton and Keith Simpson, are all there or thereabouts, each of whom have had complex relations with the Speaker.

So, when Czaibhaggan MacDonagh fluffed her line about the “Bobby Tax”, it prompted heckling from the Burns Corner.

Out Bad Bercow slavered, fangs bared, to savage them as he only savages Tories: “Braying, and sneering and making rude remarks is the sort of thing the public despise!” he barked at them.

(more…)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

WATCH: I Am Bercow, Hear Me Roar!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Speaker’s Little Helpers: Bercow’s Bill Hits £2m

When John Bercow was elected Speaker in 2009, his campaign team said:

“The Speaker can either be a road block to reform or an agent of reform and change and there’s no doubt about it that John Bercow will be that agent of change.”

After five years in the £142,000 job, the only thing that has changed is the size of Speaker’s bill. Not happy with just his coat of arms, Bercow has grown his team to a nine-strong entourage of helpers at a cost of £383,000 a year. As Guido revealed in yesterday’s Sun, they include a £42,000 train-bearer whose job it is to carry his ceremonial cloak:

  • Speaker’s Secretary: up to £93,380
  • Assistant Speaker’s Secretary: up to £61,255
  • Chaplain: up to £61,255
  • Trainbearer: up to £42,401
  • Diary Secretary: up to £35,723
  • Personal Secretary: up to £29,330
  • Secretary: up to £29,330
  • Ad hoc Adviser: up to £15,512
  • Cleaner: up to £15,042

Add that to the £37,500 a year on jet-setting around the world and his £8,000 annual expenses bill and Bercow has creamed the taxpayer for more than £2 million since 2010. The ‘agent of reform and change’ is hardly short changed…

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Stewards’ Inquiry: Can You Hear ‘Crackerjack’ at PMQs?

A steward’s inquiry is required to determine if Guido’s tip that the word ‘Crackerjack’ would be said during today’s PMQs came good. As Nadine Dorries congratulated the Speaker for his new role as chancellor of Bedfordshire University, Guido reckons you can hear the word being uttered in the background. So will Paddy Power be paying out?

3/1 for Crackerjack to be Said at PMQs with Paddy Power

Will MPs be able to resist the temptation to shout out “Crackerjack” at today’s PMQs? Over at the Paddy Power blog, Guido gives you a run-down of the best betting available for today’s session. It’s Wednesday, it’s twelve o’clock, it’s PMQs!

UPDATE:

Twitter Bitch Fight of the Week: Sally Bercow v Andrew Pierce

Sally Bercow’s relative Twitter calm was never going to last for long.

Sticking up for her friend Hattie, Sally let rip into Mail associate editor Andrew Pierce over his paper’s coverage over the last few days.

Setting up just about as bitchy a Twitter bitch fight as is humanly possible…

Miaow…

Monday, February 24, 2014

WATCH: 12 Year-Old John Bercow’s TV Debut on Crackerjack

For those who didn’t see this in the Sun on Sunday, the video shows a 12 year-old John Bercow, in his Finchley Manorhill School uniform competing on Crackerjack. Crackerjack ran for 29 years, and 451 shows. Top game was a quiz, with prizes won for a right answer and cabbages for a wrong one. No-one lost — everyone got a coveted Crackerjack pencil. Whenever the host – Ed Stewpot in this case – said the word “crakerjack” the studio audience shouted back in panto fashion “crackerjack”. This was interactive television…

Guido suspects that MPs of a certain age will not be able to restrain themselves from shouting the catchphrase…

Friday, February 7, 2014

Sally’s Hunk Revealed

The Sun have identified the lucky recipient of Sally’s snog. Clinton Baugh is a 49 year old professional dancer and DJ who says he is looking for “the love of a good woman”. They’re just friends…

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

WATCH: Bercow Flips Out

Something seemed to be troubling the Speaker at PMQs today. He boiled over during one exchange, completely losing it with Michael Gove. And to think the Education Secretary’s better half Sarah Vine was so nice about Sally in the Mail this morning…

Via @liarpoliticians

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Oh Sally

20140203-230245.jpg

PMQs is gonna be fun! Order-ordeaaaaaaaaargh…

Via Nick Sutton.

Seen Elsewhere

From the IRA to Windsor Castle | WSJ
Coulson: Everything You Need to Know in 6 Seconds | MediaGuido
Mo Ansar’s Silence | Adrian Hilton
Gove Loses WWI Battle | Conservative Woman
5 Reasons Labour Likely to Win General Election | Sunny Hundal
Dave Surrounded By Topless Women | Sun
UN Loony says Britain Most Sexist Country | Sun
Farage is a Good Reason to Leave the EU | Dan Hannan
UKIP Blocked Expenses Questions | Times
NHS Showdown Coming | Paul Goodman
Sons of Brown | Telegraph


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Cathy Jamieson MP, Labour’s Shadow Treasury minister, commenting on Treasury analysis of the economic impact of tax changes…

“If the Treasury is looking at the economic impact of tax changes, then surely it should examine the impact of the rise in VAT and cuts to tax credits? George Osborne’s £12 billion VAT rise knocked confidence, helped to choke off the recovery and has cost families £1,350 over the last three years.”



orkneylad says:

What’s he been doing FFS, mining bitcoins?


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