Posts Tagged 'Michael Martin'

Michael Martin keeps it short

Short and purely factual. Michael Martin eschewed the opportunity to leave with a jibe at his tormenters and to spare us the fake worship by those who were stabbing him in the back and chest just 24 hours previously. One sentence with the key words.
“…I will relinquish the office of Speaker on Sunday 21st June..”
Let’s hope that we can move on from this episode with equal brevity allowing MPs to focus on the key issues and leaving the matter to be sorted out by an independent body in the autumn.

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Cameron on R4 and R5

An accomplished performance from Cameron obviously mostly about the expenses farce. It’s always uncomfortable dealing with the rants, sometimes rambling, of John Humphreys and of the great British public. He was very quick to respond in a reasonable fashion. Clearly welll coached but I was impressed.
The interview/phone-in moved on to the general election. Cameron pressed again for a July election, an event not seen since 1945 (clearly an extraordinary time) and before that 1902. He also refused to criticise the Speaker. It’s not clear if this is a case of disinterested, uninterested or Machiavellian.

The Norway Debate

To watch the Speaker’s, Michael Martin, performance this afternoon was surreal bordering on the farcical. A perfunct apology was followed by a game of hide and seek behind the legal processes of debate. When finally cornered, the Speaker refused to countenance resignation, immediate or otherwise. It was clear that of those present in the house, the majority were in favour of an unequivocal statement in the opposite direction.
The Speaker may appear to be a victim of misdirected anger, a scapegoat. However it was Mr Martin who actively blocked attempts to use the FOI act to reveal the spending habits of MP’s. His response has been muted in public and obstinate in private. He is totally out of touch with the public mood. His example (his wife’s taxi fares) before this blew up, his failure to step forward as an impartial representative of the house of commons and his subsequent (in)actions clearly warrant his demise.
His supporters have long suggested that his opponents are waging war on a nationalistic (Mr Martin is Scottish) class front. Mr Martin is brusque at best and rude at worst but these are traits present in many of our business and political leaders. He has however been accused (below the parapet) of a lack of impartiality in his running of the house. Mr Martin will have thought long and hard about his response today. Clearly not long and hard enough.

Is this a democracy?

The arrest of Damian Green has raised a number of questions about our government and abuse of its position.

  • The use of ‘Anti terrorism’ laws is clearly being abused. The lesson learned here is that if a power can be abused, it will be by government and/or the police service. Government claims of laws being put through Parliament on a ‘just in case’ basis are clearly lies.
  • Why do the police arrest individuals who are clearly not about to run away. I’d be grateful if a legal expert could help. As in the case of Harry Redknapp, the individual could have merely asked the person to attend a particular police station at a set time?
  • Why did the Speaker allow the police to ransack an MP’s office?
  • Why were the police reading twenty year old love letters. This seems like a case of individual tittilation.
  • Since when has Opposition leaks become an arrestable offence. Gordon Brown was a regular at this in his time.

It seems that this was a warning shot to civil servants. But it was also a warning shot to democracy.


September 2017
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