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?
He misled the House on another point.
Rob Wilson asked whether any legal action was outstanding in the appointment. Good question. Direct. Has an answer that is capable of being falsified. The Speaker gave a false answer. It was, “No.” David Natzler has, by three people’s report, started an action through an Employment Tribunal.
That noodle Nigel Evans asked the wrong question. Would the Speaker keep Carol Mills informed of what was going on?
The question is – how many millions will Ms Mills demand in compensation when Bercow abandons her?
She should ask for five in the hope of getting two.
Saxton Bampfylde would surely advise her that’s what she deserves.