But I'm not giving him a hard time because of his education; the hope (expectation?) was that, when voted Speaker, he would show that his knowledge of and deep respect for Parliament's traditions would make him a good Speaker nonetheless.
Well, we know differently now. He has been partisan, weak, bullying and wrong-headed. Furthermore, he is a coward, inviting his ludicrous purple-haired overpromoted typist of a Serjeant-at-Arms to take the flak for the Damien Green scandal, and now taking no responsibility for the stupidity and collusion of the Fees Office, which reports to him. Finally, given his wife's taxi bills and his family's use of his official airmiles, he is clearly not above the sorry mess of misuse of public funds himself.
He will propose, no doubt, that he leave his post at the next general election. And he will be offered ennoblement and a seat in the House of Lords. Why? Because all previous Speakers have. In other words, this becomes an entitlement, just like having Douglas Hogg's dovecote cleaned at public expense, or one's outside lavatory being double-glazed with mock leaded windows (that'll be you, Prescott).
And these 'entitlements' are exactly what Joe Public has rumbled as being completely unacceptable. Joe and his wife expect justification for expenses, pensions, and peerages.
What, exactly, might Michael Martin offer the Lords? Has he any knowledge, ability, or experience to impart? I suggest not. He never held ministerial office, he never introduced thoughtful or worthwhile legislation, he is not known to have shown individual talent at all. The only noteworthy thing about him is that he became Speaker of the House of Commons. He is deemed to be the worst Speaker of modern times, and the first for 300 years to face a vote of no confidence.
There is, in short, no possible justification for raising him to the peerage. To do so would be to treat the electorate with contempt. "Change" is the watchword now, and the Speaker will doubtless use the word several times in his statement today. But if he ends up ennobled, we'll know that nothing, really, has changed at all.
UPDATE 12 noon: The Prime Minister's spokesman: "The Prime Minister and the government will support the will of the House." Asked if the Prime Minister still thought the Speaker did a "good job", as he has previously stated, the spokesman said: "I have set out the Prime Minister's position on the Speaker." CURTAINS
UPDATE 2 1645: An awful statement and an embarrassing twenty minutes in the Commons. Read Nick Drew's parody of the Laughing Policeman in the comments thread.