“He won by a mile,” both sides say.
Which do you prefer? These figures or those figures? The useless or the clueless? The useless clueless or the useless gutless? The one who doesn’t know anything or the one who’s got everything wrong. The one that goes round personally sacking nurses or the one who’s a corrupt mafia-backed mayor?
Or you might prefer the Speaker himself, he called them all, as a whole, “low-grade” and “downmarket”. John Bercow is the Ambassador for Parliament, so that’s quite an assessment from the Chief Outreach Officer.
He put in another cracking anti-Tory performance – and so soon after the one two weeks ago which had the 1922 executive on the point of sending a delegation to him to complain. The delegation idea didn’t work so they were going to send a letter. In the end, they did nothing. The inactivity is something less than masterly.
Emboldened, the Speaker interrupted the Prime Minister again today, as he was winding up for one of his shoutable lines (the PM’s mike gets turned off when the Speaker rises). And Bercow also told him off in a tone of jocular contempt for not answering a question.
The deputy chief whip then tweeted: “PMQs getting like Old Trafford, 5 minutes extra time in the hope that the Reds score a late equaliser.”
It’s all brewing up nicely for a challenge after the next election.
Sally Bercow in the Sunday Mirror let us know she and her husband would be there for another five years – considerably longer than previously thought. The Speaker has always promised to – or undertaken, or suggested, or let it be known he was thinking about the possibility that he would – stand down in 2017. Now it seems he’ll be there for nearly two years longer than that.
But a conventional wisdom of outrageous bias has now set in place (goodness, it’s taken its time). And the Speaker himself seems to relish the idea of going down fighting.
Things are brewing up quite nicely for a re-election shout at the very start of the new Parliament.
Wishful thinking? Perhaps – but a more important question is cui bono?
And the answer is: More or less everyone.