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.