Monday, 18 May 2009

How to Spot if Anything Has Changed

Gorbals Mick will speak to the nation today, from the Speaker's chair in the Commons. He will read from a typed statement, and his delivery will be stumbling and unclear, for he reads less well than the idle daughters did at 10 years old.
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.


Nick Drew said...

The Laughing-at-the-Speaker Song

I know a fat old Speaker
He’s always on the take
His wife and he are at the trough
They like their share of cake
He’s too thick for a Speaker
With nowt between his ears
And everyone says he’s the worst
For nigh four hundred years!

(Hah hah hah hah hah hah …*gales of mocking laughter*)

He’s laughed at by the media
He’s laughed at by the mob
The Sunday papers all declare
He’s got to quit his job
He says it is a class thing
That makes them jeer and bawl
But that can’t be the reason, Mick -
You have no class at all!

(Hah hah hah hah hah hah …*hysterical laughter*)

He castigates Kate Hoey
And David Winnick too
He tries to keep the details from
The likes of me and you
He’s meant to be the guardian
Of every last MP
But when they came for Damian Green
He said “That’s fine by me!”

(Hah … errr … hmmm
OK, Mick, joke’s a joke: pack yer bags)

Anonymous said...

From tother Bill

If he does go, it will serve him right. He has been asking for it. I am amazed (not) that he didn't see it coming.

rvi said...

Nick, This also goes well to the tune My Old Man's a Dustman, That laughing Policeman takes me back several decades to innocent Saturday mornings on the wireless..

Scrobs... said...

Dreadful 'statement' to The House - covered by others now, so I'll just fume on my own...

idle said...

He reads the house his statement,
And tells them he's done wrong,
But not as much as they have,
It's them who've caused the pong.
He'll not debate the motion,
His Clerk says it's a wrong-un,
He says the Press is out to get
Him only 'cos he's foreign!


Nice one, Nick.

Bill, it is the natural state of people like Martin that they are always under pressure to resign, and always wriggling away from it.

rvi, are your Saturday mornings no longer innocent?

rvi said...

Nick, they are indeed; but I am much older and wiser now.. (and my "children's favourite" was never played either!).