Bye-bye Ooorder!

John Bercow, loud speaker of the British House of Commons, handed in his resignation at the height of the Brexit battle. With his bossy nature, his rudeness, bullying, showboating, windbaggery he overstretched his office. For many conservatives his resignation was overdue.

The Rt. Hon. John Bercow MP, shortly to quit his job as Speaker of Britain's House of Commons, is flying to Switzerland next week [Sept 19] to give a lecture entitled 'Why I am the most brilliant, influential, funny, witty and important parliamentarian in British political history.' That may not be the formal title of his speech at Zurich's Europa Institut. But it will certainly be the main theme. In an arena not exactly short of vaunting self-regard, few politicians come even close to matching the Olympian conceit of this "egotistical preening popinjay [who] has shamelessly put his anti-Brexit bias before the national interest - and is a disgrace to his office."

That last quotation - from the Daily Mail in January this year - gives you an idea of the gulf between how Bercow sees himself and how he is viewed by a significant chunk of the country at large.

Yes, there is no doubt that the dwarfish Bercow with his garish ties and antique turn of phrase (he calls debates "contestations" and says "nay" instead of "no") has proved to be one of the more colourful and lively Speakers of the House; sure, there are those who continue to argue that his insistence on the primacy and sovereignty of parliament make him a hero of democracy. But there are many more who view him as a pest and an irritant whose announced departure on October 31 just can't come soon enough.

His rudeness, bullying, showboating, shameless bias, and windbaggery are only part of the problem. What has really driven Britain mad is the fact that he has grotesquely abused the privilege of his office and done perhaps more than anyone to undermine, thwart and frustrate the government's popular mandate to deliver Brexit.

Last week he was up to his dirty tricks again, exploiting a recondite procedure called Standing Order No24 to allow the Labour Opposition to take control of parliament and rush through a piece of ad hoc legislation making it illegal for Prime Minister Boris Johnson to deliver a No Deal Brexit on October 31 and forcing him to beg the European Union for yet another extension.

So, at a stroke, with the Speaker's connivance, the Prime Minister was deprived of one of his most effective negotiating positions and thrown at the mercy of what many Britons have come to recognise as a hostile and intransigent foreign power - the EU.

Bercow has never made much secret of his Remainer affiliations. Not only was his car spotted in the Westminster carpark with a "Bollocks to Brexit" bumper sticker, but he once told a group of visiting schoolchildren that he had voted "Remain". And he recently interrupted a foreign holiday to declare that the Prime Minister's decision to prorogue Parliament (in order to stop it frustrating Brexit any longer) was a "constitutional outrage."

For any other British politician, such outspoken bias would be quite excusable. But Bercow is - or ought to be - obliged by his office to be above such partisan affiliations. Unlike, say, its American equivalent in Congress, the position of Speaker of the House is by tradition a politically neutral one. To act otherwise - in a country with no written constitution - is a breach of the good faith which holds Britain's delicately balanced democracy together.

Though Bercow was elected a Conservative and began his career on the far Right of his party, joining the anti-Semitic Monday Club - which must have been a shock to his Jewish taxi driver father - he has since turned so far left that no one was surprised to learn recently in the newspapers that he had toyed with the idea of joining Labour.

Even his tearful, schmaltzy departure announcement to the Commons was scheming and contrived: deliberately timed to ensure that his successor would be chosen while parliament was dominated by Remainers, rather than after the imminent general election when it will surely be dominated by Brexiteers.

Besides paying lip-service to all the politically correct shibboleths on diversity, sexuality and gender (not that it stopped him calling one Conservative MP a "stupid woman"), Bercow has been a vocal critic of Donald Trump. On the President's first visit, Bercow peremptorily decided to ban him from addressing the House of Commons (a privilege he had, of course, no problem extending to President Obama), claiming with characteristic pomposity "My view is that he has not earned that honour."

Even his tearful, schmaltzy departure announcement to the Commons was scheming and contrived: deliberately timed to ensure that his successor would be chosen while parliament was dominated by Remainers, rather than after the imminent general election when it will surely be dominated by Brexiteers.

Some ascribe his political shift to the influence of his lubricious, Labour-voting wife Sally; others put it down to cynicism and expedience. He landed the very well paid (£142,000 per year) job by shamelessly attacking his own side and appealing to Labour MPs' spite and winning their vote in the secret ballot. As one Labour MP admitted at the time: "We're going to stuff [the Tories] by voting for someone they hate..."

If that was the aim, John Bercow has delivered in spades. Probably no Speaker in history has ever been more loathed, especially not by his own party. In his persistent sabotaging of Brexit through his shameless bias towards parliamentary Remainers, Bercow has brought disgrace on his office. Not that with his fat pension and his inevitable elevation to the House of Lords Bercow will mind one jot. Anyway when you're so in love with yourself, who cares what other people think?

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Kommentare

Markus Dancer

12.09.2019|08:47 Uhr

He's sly, but he's a insane manipulator and antidemocrate and most probably corrupt to the core! He's damaged the UK like not many have damaged it before! Poor People in the UK, they have now the prove, there was never a democracy and to intall one will probably never be possible. You are technically still the underlings of the Royals anyway. How ever good old Engeland, does not stand alone, the EU is a dictatorship, Switzerland on the way to one, China is since long, the whole islamic world is one ... so what? Integration (submission) goes in both directions, isn't it?

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