Posts Tagged 'Speaker'

Speaker Froth

The media obsession with the appointment of the new Speaker is a diversion. Whilst the unseating of the previous Speaker was a microcosm of the public’s discontent, the interest in the appointment of a new Establishment figure is not. The general public do not differentiate between good MPs and bad MPs, they see the entire lower house as one cesspit of corruption and self interest. Only transparency can provide this, not a new face under wig and inside stockings, not another quango and certainly not the Prime Minister telling us that he’s the man to take us out of the ‘bust’, he presided over and claimed to have abolished.


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.

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.

June 2018
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