SKETCH: The Week the Speaker Lost Control of the House

Suddenly, it’s not circus and ringmaster but chair-poking lion tamer and circling lions.

For years, John Bercow has been Labour’s Speaker. They have colluded. They meet and plot. They brief mutually.

On Monday night, Bercow was pursuing an obscure and insignificant change to standing orders and he was abandoned by the Labour Whips. Their front bench opposed him. The Motion failed and he was humiliated in the House.

He realized that it’s a one-way street. Labour colludes with him only insofar as it damages Tories.

Was this why he snapped at two Labour MPs in the Autumn Statement, including Chris “Well done, John!” Ruane?

More important, he failed to protect his old ally Ed Balls. The noise during the shadow chancellor’s turn was unrelenting. Bercow couldn’t control the Tories.

And he tried.

“It doesn’t bother me,” he said, trying to restore order. “It just lengthens the proceedings. I enjoy chairing.”

He stood there in a Tory storm of “More! More! More!” smiling a brave, fixed smile. Then he sat down and didn’t try again.

Fairly or not, Labour resented this.

It was an old prediction of mine, that Bercow’s partisan treatment of Tories would create a reaction and ultimately he would lose control of the House – and thereby his authority, and finally his position.

That would be the Aesop morality that sometimes comes to pass in politics – where leaders are undone by their own flaws (Blair by the War, Brown by his – oh, where to start?)

We’re not quite there with Bercow, but at least everyone can see how it might happen.




Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner:

“We have no plans to write off existing student debt.”

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.
Sunday Shows Sunday Shows
City Confident as Hiring Rates Rocket City Confident as Hiring Rates Rocket
Watch: Best Maiden Speech of 2017 Intake Watch: Best Maiden Speech of 2017 Intake
Child Protection Investigation ‘Stalled to Help Labour’ Child Protection Investigation ‘Stalled to Help Labour’
Davis Accepts Donations from Top Blairite and TV Remainer Davis Accepts Donations from Top Blairite and TV Remainer
BBC #NotOnTheList Stars Paid Via Production Companies BBC #NotOnTheList Stars Paid Via Production Companies
Pants-Wearing Councillor Boasted He Had “Vaz in My Right Pocket” Pants-Wearing Councillor Boasted He Had “Vaz in My Right Pocket”
Champion: ‘Not Possible’ to Keep Student Debt Promise Champion: ‘Not Possible’ to Keep Student Debt Promise
BBC Rich List Revealed: Salaries In Full BBC Rich List Revealed: Salaries In Full
Torbynista Greening Loses Fight for New Money Torbynista Greening Loses Fight for New Money
New Labour Spinner Boasted of Bullying Angela Eagle New Labour Spinner Boasted of Bullying Angela Eagle
Remainers Behind Smears and Negative Briefings Remainers Behind Smears and Negative Briefings
Byline Fined For Defamation in First Impress Ruling Byline Fined For Defamation in First Impress Ruling
Freedom From Abuse Not Abuse of Freedom Freedom From Abuse Not Abuse of Freedom
Milne & Blonde Pictured in Restaurant Milne & Blonde Pictured in Restaurant
Corbyn Spends Evening With Assad Loving Genocide Denier Corbyn Spends Evening With Assad Loving Genocide Denier
Osborne Defends Blackrock’s Investment on Front Page Osborne Defends Blackrock’s Investment on Front Page
Taylor Review Hijacked by Union Sock Puppets Taylor Review Hijacked by Union Sock Puppets
Assange Lawyer Named as Milne’s Mystery Blonde Assange Lawyer Named as Milne’s Mystery Blonde