Leonard Cohen on his bankruptcy tour sang whole concerts on one knee, hand extended to the audience. He really needed the money.
So it was with John Bercow yesterday evening. He knelt. He extended his palm to the Commons. “I am in the hands of and ready to be guided by the House.” He really needed the support.
How well he plays that great organ of democracy!
“My responsibility is to hear and heed them,” he said of its members.
They just didn’t have the heart to give the kneeling supplicant a jolly good beating.
That will happen – and it is still more likely to happen than not – today, the day after and next week.
It is still more likely than not he will lose the Speakership.
Jesse Norman asked gently whether he was going to withdraw the letter of appointment. He was told, “It isn’t for me to withdraw a letter but for the panel.”
Is it? Is it for the Panel? Wasn’t the Panel’s function to advise the Speaker? Whose name was on the letter of recommendation – the Panel’s or the Speaker’s?