Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘speaker’ Category

The taste for the blood of human prey must be pretty overwhelming for a grizzled political werewolf like Menzies Campbell. He can’t get enough of it. Certainly Charles Kennedy’s 80 proof claret clearly wasn’t enough to slake a thirst like Ming’s, even though it did poison his leadership. Now he’s stalking little Bercow, too, and seeking to replace him, just like he did with Kennedy, as Iain Dale reports.

I’m suggesting there must be some sort of political bloodlust at work here, because he certainly can’t be doing it consciously. He who wields the knife seldom wears the crown and all that. At least, not for very long. You would have thought he of all people would have learnt that lesson pretty comprehensively. It seems not. So no, Ming must be driven by some kind of supernatural desire to decapitate colleagues, even those that pose no threat to him – though perhaps do represent an obstacle to his ambition. Target and destroy.

Even so, I would not be sorry to see that duplicitous little git Bercow ousted, even by a fresh-brains-addicted political LibDum zombie like Menzies Campbell. But it’s just worth remembering now and then that the ends seldom justify the means. Whatever the outcome, however joyful, the “means” have a habit of coming back and biting you in the ass.

Read Full Post »

After the revelation that little Johnny Bercow’s beanpole wife (relatively speaking) is standing in local council elections for the Labourists in Westminster, today the Telegraph reports that he has spent a small fortune redecorating the Speaker’s grace and favour apartments. Cost to you and me? A cool £45,000. So the story goes, it was wifey Sally Bercow (you know, the prospective Labour local councillor) and not little Johnny who was the brains behind this latest bit of troughing. How predictable. The Telegraph then goes on to explain why this should be a major embarrassment to the wee man:

Emails reveal that Mrs Bercow compiled a lengthy “shopping list” of items that she wished to have changed in the Speaker’s historic official residence within days of her husband’s election.

The new documents, released under Freedom of Information laws, also disclose that Mr Bercow has spent almost £13,000 on entertaining and hospitality – including a three-night trip to Rome costing almost £4,000 – in just three months.

Mr Bercow had faced criticism over his use of expenses when he was a backbench Conservative MP, claiming the maximum amount permissible to fund another Westminster flat.

The new disclosures about Mr Bercow’s spending are likely to prove embarrassing for the new Speaker who was elected on a promise to restore trust in Parliament in the wake of the MPs’ expenses scandal.

During his campaign to become speaker, he said: “It is high time the House (of Commons) was run by professionals on a transparent basis, ensuring that we are accountable to the people who put us here.”

Michael Martin, his predecessor as speaker, had been criticised for his use of taxpayers’ money, including extensive renovations of the speaker’s official residence which ran to more than £700,000.

After succeeding him, Mr Bercow vowed to modernise Parliament and make it “accountable to the people” and transparent in its operation.

He pledged to surrender the MP’s second homes allowance worth more than £24,000. However, the new documents disclose, he has already ordered renovations on his new Westminster appartment worth more.

In August, the Speaker admitted that he spent just over £20,000 on refurbishing his official apartment before moving in with his wife and children.

However, documents have now revealed how the true cost was actually £45,581, as Commons officials agreed to account for extensive redecoration and other work as ‘routine maintenance’ which Mr Bercow did not declare publicly.

Mr Bercow is expected to be under pressure to release a breakdown of the work conducted as ‘routine maintenance’.

Should we be furious? Yes. Should he be punished? Yes. But how? Well, I would think the obvious measure would be first, when the Tories win the next election, he is removed as Speaker. He was, after all, placed in the role by a Labour government hell bent on hurting the Tories, not ‘reforming’ parliament and the expenses system – even though some might be moved to think that this strategy has backfired (Bercow, let’s be fair, has not been quite the full-on patsy I imagine Labour expected him to be). The fact that they thought he, a Tory MP (of sorts), was the man for that job speaks volumes about the man.

And it brings me to the second part of his punishment. He is no longer a Tory MP, sure, but he should be left in no doubt that he will never be allowed to be a Tory MP, or even a member of the Conservative party, again. That should just about do it. Yes, I think so.

Just in case you’re not convinced yet or you think that I’m being somehow ‘mean’ to the irritating, money-grubbing little scrote, read the rest of the report:

Emails show how Mrs Bercow, who last week declared her desire to become a Labour councillor in Westminster, communicated with Parliamentary officials over the refurbishment requirements.

“The existing wall paper is very office/board-roomy,” she wrote on June 30th.. “So, if at all possible, can the walls be redecorated.

“Can the TV be replaced with a larger one and moved into a more central location (like it or not, it will be a focal point for the kids!!!),” she continued. “I assume it will have SKY and we’ll need a DVD player too if possible.”

The work – initially estimated to have cost £23,400 by July 8th – had almost doubled in price by the end of the same month.

The emails show that Commons officials were becoming concerned about the spiralling cost of the work. However, they agreed to allow the Bercows to continue with the renovations.

One official wrote on July 1st: “My concern is that the list is getting longer, which isn’t technically a problem, but I know that you are very mindful of the costs and only wish to do what is considered as ‘reasonable’.

“The latest version [of the renovations spreadsheet] has everything included and I think that the best way to view it, is as a shopping/wish list. If any costs come out as excessive…we can always review the options and make the necessary decisions.”

An email discloses that the £45,000 cost of the work was split into two spreadsheets before the lower £20,000 figure was released in August.

Any redecorating which had not been done for at least five years was described as the ‘routine maintenance’ and excluded.

However, it can also be revealed how the costs of this routine maintenance doubled between an estimate in early July of £11,500 and the final cost of £24,922 just three weeks later.

A source close to the Speaker said that most of the extra work was to parts of the official residence which are not used as the family’s private living quarters.

He said that the £20,000 figure which had been released originally represented the additional cost to the taxpayer of the Speaker being someone with children.

“We tried to isolate the costs to the taxpayer of Mr Bercow and his family moving in,” he said. “A lot of the other work is beyond the control of the Speaker and is determined by English Heritage and other bodies.

“Mr Bercow has no plans to do anything, this is a one off.”

The new Speaker has also spent £12,812 on entertaining and official functions during his first three months. This is far higher than the amounts spent by Lord Martin of Springburn during his final three years in office.

Mr Bercow’s entertainment costs include £3,599 on a three night trip to Rome to attend a G8 Speaker’s conference. He was accompanied by three other people whose identities are not disclosed in the released documents but are thought to be officials.

He is the second youngest Speaker in history and the first in living memory to have three young children – Oliver, Freddie and Jemima, who are all under six.

The official speaker’s residence is underneath Big Ben in the Palace of Westminster. It was designed by Charles Barry and contains a state dining room and a canopied bed to be slept in by the monarch on the night before a coronation.

Mr Bercow has previously said that much of the renovation work was necessary to make the apartment child-friendly. For example, locks had to be fitted to the windows for the safety of his young children.

He previously lived in another flat in Westminster which was also funded by the taxpayer. He repaid almost £8,000 earlier this year after The Daily Telegraph raised questions about his lawful avoidance of capital-gains tax on the sale of two properties.

However, Mr Bercow is thought to have refused to surrender his gold-plated pension – which guarantees to pay half his income when he retires regardless of how long he remains in the job. As he is only currently aged 46, this is a very valuable perk.

In an interview to be broadcast on Sunday, Mr Bercow will defend his wife’s right to stand as a Labour candidate in next year’s council elections.

But he acknowledged that he could expect the mother of his three children to be portrayed as “a cross between Jerry Hall, Lady Macbeth and Eva Peron” because of her decision to get involved in electoral politics.

“My wife isn’t my chattel, she’s my wife,” he will say on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.

“She is a private citizen who has her own views and is an independent person. And it has long been known that my wife is a supporter of the Labour Party, so I don’t think there’s anything odd, embarrassing and certainly there’s nothing underhand about it.”

Grrr.

Bercow was no great loss to the Tory party. He will be no great loss as Speaker. Besides, then he’ll be free to do what all the signs seem to point to him wanting to do for so long: join the Labour party. At least that will put him in the Missus’ good books. She clearly wears the trousers, after all.

PS:
I know I was a bit slow off the mark with this one – been doing stuff. For a more immediate – and rather more violent – reaction, therefore, try Tangled Web. Great!

Read Full Post »

Bercow seems to think that he is going to be the star of the All-New Reformed-Parliament Show. So far, though, he has not struck me as the sort of person who will do anything other than an absolutely terrible job. He’s full of what is clearly Labour reform spin and he sounds, frankly, dishonest. Why? Well, he can’t even take it on the chin that his own party didn’t vote for him. The Tories knew he was being forced on them out of Brownite spite – and the sums speaks for themselves. His vote count equates almost perfectly with the number of people on the Labour benches, combined with a few lefty Lib Dems. Young’s votes almost exactly correlate with the entire Tory body count, combined with a few dozen moderate Lib Dems, a very few decent Labourists and a smattering of Independents. (The rumour is that three (mad) Tories voted for him.)

Watch yesterday’s interview with Boulton (although the Bradby one was far better – but it’s a hassle to rip). This turncoat idiot thinks he’s some kind of minister. And a Labour one, to boot. Well, make your own mind up.

Then we have today’s Telegraph report that the ‘reform’ these MPs have opted for is nothing of the kind, (as I humbly predicted yesterday). The ‘transparency’ promised will not be forthcoming. They’ve covered all their bases and protected their piggy backsides once again. Are we surprised? I think not.

But one thing is clear to me, and should be clear to everyone else: this is all Brown’s work. Parliament is rotten, sure. But if you want to know what (or rather who) represents the diseased heart of that rot, then this Bill should provide final, incontravertible evidence: it is Brown. As the Heff says, Bercow is Labour’s last insult to voters. Sure, he’s Labour’s last insult, but this Bill is not Brown’s last lie. There will be many more of those to come in what will be the last months of his pitiful premiership. He lies. Through his teeth. All the time. That’s just “what he does” – ably aided and abetted by the likes of Balls, Harperson, Woodward, Mandelson – and now Bercow.

Guido Fawkes has examined the government’s new Bill in some detail and has written about it in what I think is one of his best pieces yet. These are his conclusions:

[It] is a stitch up, we don’t need more rules and self-selected regulators, we need reform of the expenses system, together with clarity, transparency and enforcement of the rules. The voters will kick out MPs if they can identify crooks, in this sense in a democracy voters are the ultimate regulator of politicians. This whole idea is ill-founded, we don’t need to intermediate democracy with another quango or committee, this approach has already failed.

We need only to empower voters with enough information so that they can determine the truth about those who seek to represent them. The truth is all we need, not redactions, not more quangocrats.

Amen to that. And it’s a message that needs to be shouted out loud every minute of every day from now until the dissolution. Someone in that disreputable House will eventually listen, surely.

One thing we do know for sure, though, is that that person won’t be John Bercow.

All he does is speaks.

Read Full Post »

Bercow seems to think that he is going to be the star of the All-New Reformed-Parliament Show. So far, though, he has not struck me as the sort of person who will do anything other than an absolutely terrible job. He’s full of what is clearly Labour reform spin and he sounds, frankly, dishonest. Why? Well, he can’t even take it on the chin that his own party didn’t vote for him. The Tories knew he was being forced on them out of Brownite spite – and the sums speaks for themselves. His vote count equates almost perfectly with the number of people on the Labour benches, combined with a few lefty Lib Dems. Young’s votes almost exactly correlate with the entire Tory body count, combined with a few dozen moderate Lib Dems, a very few decent Labourists and a smattering of Independents. (The rumour is that three (mad) Tories voted for him.)

Watch yesterday’s interview with Boulton (although the Bradby one was far better – but it’s a hassle to rip). This turncoat idiot thinks he’s some kind of minister. And a Labour one, to boot. Well, make your own mind up.

Then we have today’s Telegraph report that the ‘reform’ these MPs have opted for is nothing of the kind, (as I humbly predicted yesterday). The ‘transparency’ promised will not be forthcoming. They’ve covered all their bases and protected their piggy backsides once again. Are we surprised? I think not.

But one thing is clear to me, and should be clear to everyone else: this is all Brown’s work. Parliament is rotten, sure. But if you want to know what (or rather who) represents the diseased heart of that rot, then this Bill should provide final, incontravertible evidence: it is Brown. As the Heff says, Bercow is Labour’s last insult to voters. Sure, he’s Labour’s last insult, but this Bill is not Brown’s last lie. There will be many more of those to come in what will be the last months of his pitiful premiership. He lies. Through his teeth. All the time. That’s just “what he does” – ably aided and abetted by the likes of Balls, Harperson, Woodward, Mandelson – and now Bercow.

Guido Fawkes has examined the government’s new Bill in some detail and has written about it in what I think is one of his best pieces yet. These are his conclusions:

[It] is a stitch up, we don’t need more rules and self-selected regulators, we need reform of the expenses system, together with clarity, transparency and enforcement of the rules. The voters will kick out MPs if they can identify crooks, in this sense in a democracy voters are the ultimate regulator of politicians. This whole idea is ill-founded, we don’t need to intermediate democracy with another quango or committee, this approach has already failed.

We need only to empower voters with enough information so that they can determine the truth about those who seek to represent them. The truth is all we need, not redactions, not more quangocrats.

Amen to that. And it’s a message that needs to be shouted out loud every minute of every day from now until the dissolution. Someone in that disreputable House will eventually listen, surely.

One thing we do know for sure, though, is that that person won’t be John Bercow.

All he does is speaks.

Read Full Post »

So the first Bercow ‘big reform’ is to cast off the Speaker’s wig. This is a laughable, disingenuous gesture designed somehow to provide a visual representation of that ‘clean break’ the Berk referred to in his cringe-making speech yesterday. But if you take the wig off the man, all you are left with is the man – and this man is part of the problem. Dan Hannan:

…the hairpiece isn’t simply a mediaeval relic. It’s a reminder to its wearer it that his office is bigger than he is. It was a bad start when Michael Martin arrogantly refused the headgear. “It’s just not me,” he insisted, presuming to take the job on his own terms – an attitude which prefigured his eventual disgrace. Had the old boy slapped on the horsehair, it might have inspired him to try to live up to the role, to be a bigger man.

Tee hee. But through this first, empty act, Bercow’s immediately fallen into line and begun to do precisely the kind of thing that Brown-Labour wants: distracting, fake iconoclasm motivated not by any genuine principle or sincere wish to modernise – or ‘reform’ – constructively a parliament that has been rendered rotten only by its current members’ systematic abuse of its time-honoured traditions, but by a simple, dishonest desire to stay put. And they will do anything and say anything they can to that one end. As Peter Oborne said in a TV interview today, Bercow is the manifestation of the corruption that has crippled parliament. He was forced to pay six grand of evaded capital gains tax and over a thousand pounds’ worth of dodgy claims for a personal accountant.

How can this man, along with all the other MPs now tainted by serious and proven sleaze, be trusted to reform the system? The answer is he most certainly cannot. The problem is, that question is part of the distraction. The fundamental point is this: forget trust – we’re well beyond that – MPs, including Bercow, no longer have the moral authority to change or create law. For Labour to think that it can install its placeman in the Speaker’s chair and carry on regardless is a (further) deep insult to the electorate. It is a travesty and the so-called reforms that will be generated consequently will be no more than meaningless windowdressing and a waste of precious parliamentary time.

It has already begun. Harriet Harperson’s first announcement on reform is to table legislation making it a criminal offence (a criminal expense?) for MPs to fiddle their fees or fail to declare their interests punishable by ‘up to a year’ in stir. Have you stopped laughing yet? Aside from the fact there’s no mention of existing legislation that covers the small matter of tax evasion – or of false accounting – here we have in your proverbial nutshell the contradiction that will confront this bankrupt government and the parliament it helped to corrupt: legislation like this would not be necessary if honourable members were just that, honourable. That they deem this legislation necessary merely proves to the public that they consider themselves untrustworthy. “Well, if they can’t trust themselves with public money, why the hell should we,” the public will rightly think. (I do.)

They will go around in circles, new Speaker in the chair he does not merit. They will make laws to constrain a future generation of politician who might well need no such constraint, given the inevitably far higher level of public expectation and scrutiny that new generation will accept it will have to endure. What’s clear is that this government and this parliament were incapable of obeying the letter and the spirit of the rules they themselves partly created. They were also incapable of exercising judgment in the realm of propriety, both individually and collectively. There is therefore no reason for them to expect people to swallow the notion that they themselves, in some sort of “reflexive lawmaking”, should be permitted to make a new law that forces them to obey the rules. We say: no thanks, you no longer have the right. Besides, it will miss its target because such a law is always contingent upon what those rules actually are and those rules are made by, you guessed it, MPs. You see? Going around in circles.

The old system might be flawed, but flawed or not its basic operating premise, that MPs are honest and honourable, is essential if we are to have real democracy. It requires a degree of faith on all our parts to be successful. An honour code is the only way our elected representatives can exercise the power we give them to supervise the sovereignty of parliament, thereby ensuring the continued health of the body politic. And therein we find the root-cause of the problem: one dishonourable MP can cause enormous damage to parliament and to that health. Six hundred dishonourable MPs, including the Prime Minister, and you have a severe crisis. And the longer they stay in parliament, the graver the damage they do, by the very fact of their continued presence. But it should be unsurprising to us that these people are reluctant to leave, regardless of this damage. They are who they are, after all: they don’t care.

Bercow, with his fake iconoclasm, is merely another sign of that ‘graver damage’ to which I refer. This man is an insult to our intelligence, with or without a wig. He’s the latest symptom of a decayed, diseased legislature. The chief carriers of the disease are Gord’elpus Brown and his gang of amoral Labourists. (Tory sleaze has become a mere secondary infection, incredibly.)

The cure? It’s a purgative and it always works: a general election.

Read Full Post »

So the first Bercow ‘big reform’ is to cast off the Speaker’s wig. This is a laughable, disingenuous gesture designed somehow to provide a visual representation of that ‘clean break’ the Berk referred to in his cringe-making speech yesterday. But if you take the wig off the man, all you are left with is the man – and this man is part of the problem. Dan Hannan:

…the hairpiece isn’t simply a mediaeval relic. It’s a reminder to its wearer it that his office is bigger than he is. It was a bad start when Michael Martin arrogantly refused the headgear. “It’s just not me,” he insisted, presuming to take the job on his own terms – an attitude which prefigured his eventual disgrace. Had the old boy slapped on the horsehair, it might have inspired him to try to live up to the role, to be a bigger man.

Tee hee. But through this first, empty act, Bercow’s immediately fallen into line and begun to do precisely the kind of thing that Brown-Labour wants: distracting, fake iconoclasm motivated not by any genuine principle or sincere wish to modernise – or ‘reform’ – constructively a parliament that has been rendered rotten only by its current members’ systematic abuse of its time-honoured traditions, but by a simple, dishonest desire to stay put. And they will do anything and say anything they can to that one end. As Peter Oborne said in a TV interview today, Bercow is the manifestation of the corruption that has crippled parliament. He was forced to pay six grand of evaded capital gains tax and over a thousand pounds’ worth of dodgy claims for a personal accountant.

How can this man, along with all the other MPs now tainted by serious and proven sleaze, be trusted to reform the system? The answer is he most certainly cannot. The problem is, that question is part of the distraction. The fundamental point is this: forget trust – we’re well beyond that – MPs, including Bercow, no longer have the moral authority to change or create law. For Labour to think that it can install its placeman in the Speaker’s chair and carry on regardless is a (further) deep insult to the electorate. It is a travesty and the so-called reforms that will be generated consequently will be no more than meaningless windowdressing and a waste of precious parliamentary time.

It has already begun. Harriet Harperson’s first announcement on reform is to table legislation making it a criminal offence (a criminal expense?) for MPs to fiddle their fees or fail to declare their interests punishable by ‘up to a year’ in stir. Have you stopped laughing yet? Aside from the fact there’s no mention of existing legislation that covers the small matter of tax evasion – or of false accounting – here we have in your proverbial nutshell the contradiction that will confront this bankrupt government and the parliament it helped to corrupt: legislation like this would not be necessary if honourable members were just that, honourable. That they deem this legislation necessary merely proves to the public that they consider themselves untrustworthy. “Well, if they can’t trust themselves with public money, why the hell should we,” the public will rightly think. (I do.)

They will go around in circles, new Speaker in the chair he does not merit. They will make laws to constrain a future generation of politician who might well need no such constraint, given the inevitably far higher level of public expectation and scrutiny that new generation will accept it will have to endure. What’s clear is that this government and this parliament were incapable of obeying the letter and the spirit of the rules they themselves partly created. They were also incapable of exercising judgment in the realm of propriety, both individually and collectively. There is therefore no reason for them to expect people to swallow the notion that they themselves, in some sort of “reflexive lawmaking”, should be permitted to make a new law that forces them to obey the rules. We say: no thanks, you no longer have the right. Besides, it will miss its target because such a law is always contingent upon what those rules actually are and those rules are made by, you guessed it, MPs. You see? Going around in circles.

The old system might be flawed, but flawed or not its basic operating premise, that MPs are honest and honourable, is essential if we are to have real democracy. It requires a degree of faith on all our parts to be successful. An honour code is the only way our elected representatives can exercise the power we give them to supervise the sovereignty of parliament, thereby ensuring the continued health of the body politic. And therein we find the root-cause of the problem: one dishonourable MP can cause enormous damage to parliament and to that health. Six hundred dishonourable MPs, including the Prime Minister, and you have a severe crisis. And the longer they stay in parliament, the graver the damage they do, by the very fact of their continued presence. But it should be unsurprising to us that these people are reluctant to leave, regardless of this damage. They are who they are, after all: they don’t care.

Bercow, with his fake iconoclasm, is merely another sign of that ‘graver damage’ to which I refer. This man is an insult to our intelligence, with or without a wig. He’s the latest symptom of a decayed, diseased legislature. The chief carriers of the disease are Gord’elpus Brown and his gang of amoral Labourists. (Tory sleaze has become a mere secondary infection, incredibly.)

The cure? It’s a purgative and it always works: a general election.

Read Full Post »

So the first Bercow ‘big reform’ is to cast off the Speaker’s wig. This is a laughable, disingenuous gesture designed somehow to provide a visual representation of that ‘clean break’ the Berk referred to in his cringe-making speech yesterday. But if you take the wig off the man, all you are left with is the man – and this man is part of the problem. Dan Hannan:

…the hairpiece isn’t simply a mediaeval relic. It’s a reminder to its wearer it that his office is bigger than he is. It was a bad start when Michael Martin arrogantly refused the headgear. “It’s just not me,” he insisted, presuming to take the job on his own terms – an attitude which prefigured his eventual disgrace. Had the old boy slapped on the horsehair, it might have inspired him to try to live up to the role, to be a bigger man.

Tee hee. But through this first, empty act, Bercow’s immediately fallen into line and begun to do precisely the kind of thing that Brown-Labour wants: distracting, fake iconoclasm motivated not by any genuine principle or sincere wish to modernise – or ‘reform’ – constructively a parliament that has been rendered rotten only by its current members’ systematic abuse of its time-honoured traditions, but by a simple, dishonest desire to stay put. And they will do anything and say anything they can to that one end. As Peter Oborne said in a TV interview today, Bercow is the manifestation of the corruption that has crippled parliament. He was forced to pay six grand of evaded capital gains tax and over a thousand pounds’ worth of dodgy claims for a personal accountant.

How can this man, along with all the other MPs now tainted by serious and proven sleaze, be trusted to reform the system? The answer is he most certainly cannot. The problem is, that question is part of the distraction. The fundamental point is this: forget trust – we’re well beyond that – MPs, including Bercow, no longer have the moral authority to change or create law. For Labour to think that it can install its placeman in the Speaker’s chair and carry on regardless is a (further) deep insult to the electorate. It is a travesty and the so-called reforms that will be generated consequently will be no more than meaningless windowdressing and a waste of precious parliamentary time.

It has already begun. Harriet Harperson’s first announcement on reform is to table legislation making it a criminal offence (a criminal expense?) for MPs to fiddle their fees or fail to declare their interests punishable by ‘up to a year’ in stir. Have you stopped laughing yet? Aside from the fact there’s no mention of existing legislation that covers the small matter of tax evasion – or of false accounting – here we have in your proverbial nutshell the contradiction that will confront this bankrupt government and the parliament it helped to corrupt: legislation like this would not be necessary if honourable members were just that, honourable. That they deem this legislation necessary merely proves to the public that they consider themselves untrustworthy. “Well, if they can’t trust themselves with public money, why the hell should we,” the public will rightly think. (I do.)

They will go around in circles, new Speaker in the chair he does not merit. They will make laws to constrain a future generation of politician who might well need no such constraint, given the inevitably far higher level of public expectation and scrutiny that new generation will accept it will have to endure. What’s clear is that this government and this parliament were incapable of obeying the letter and the spirit of the rules they themselves partly created. They were also incapable of exercising judgment in the realm of propriety, both individually and collectively. There is therefore no reason for them to expect people to swallow the notion that they themselves, in some sort of “reflexive lawmaking”, should be permitted to make a new law that forces them to obey the rules. We say: no thanks, you no longer have the right. Besides, it will miss its target because such a law is always contingent upon what those rules actually are and those rules are made by, you guessed it, MPs. You see? Going around in circles.

The old system might be flawed, but flawed or not its basic operating premise, that MPs are honest and honourable, is essential if we are to have real democracy. It requires a degree of faith on all our parts to be successful. An honour code is the only way our elected representatives can exercise the power we give them to supervise the sovereignty of parliament, thereby ensuring the continued health of the body politic. And therein we find the root-cause of the problem: one dishonourable MP can cause enormous damage to parliament and to that health. Six hundred dishonourable MPs, including the Prime Minister, and you have a severe crisis. And the longer they stay in parliament, the graver the damage they do, by the very fact of their continued presence. But it should be unsurprising to us that these people are reluctant to leave, regardless of this damage. They are who they are, after all: they don’t care.

Bercow, with his fake iconoclasm, is merely another sign of that ‘graver damage’ to which I refer. This man is an insult to our intelligence, with or without a wig. He’s the latest symptom of a decayed, diseased legislature. The chief carriers of the disease are Gord’elpus Brown and his gang of amoral Labourists. (Tory sleaze has become a mere secondary infection, incredibly.)

The cure? It’s a purgative and it always works: a general election.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »