Tuesday, June 23, 2009
I feel a kind of numbness about the election of John Bercow as Speaker. I've nothing against the man - well, I might have if I worked at it - but it is yet further evidence that the House of Commons is determined to deal with the collapse of its status by pretending nothing has happened. Margaret Beckett was destroyed by her own whips' attempts to get her in - ha, ha - and Bercow was installed because Labour knew it would upset the Tories. So much for the dignity of this process and of the office. If they had been serious about anything they would have elected Frank Field, the only genuine reformer. But he didn't stand because he couldn't get support. 'He's hated,' I was told. This is because he's thoughtful, flexible, incorruptible, open to ideas of other parties - a mensch, in short, just what the bone-headed klutzes lounging on their deep buttoned, green pub benches hate most. Like the bankers, MPs are desperately trying to restore the status quo ante and, like the bankers, they are succeeding.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 5:55 am