Monday, May 17, 2010

The man who should be Speaker

While the nation and media are preoccupied with the next trivial election - which Miliband might become leader of the Labour Party - the rather more important one is far more imminent. Tomorrow, MPs gather for the first time and their first task is to elect the Speaker. Usually it proceeds without a murmur of dissent.

But John Bercow is not likely to be nodded through quite so easily.

As a placeman of Labour, his election was one of the most partisan elevations to the Speakership in recent history. And he has performed appallingly, not only with his patronising and condescending manner but also in his manifest bias against numerous Conservative members.

Cranmer's choice for Speaker is now the formidable Edward Leigh, a former barrister and devout Christian man who is firmly on the Right of the Party. He commands the respect of the whole House and his reputation as Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee is unparalleled. If he achieves for Parliament what he has gained for the public purse, he would be a truly great Speaker.

If not he, then, in the spirit of ecumenical 'broad church' coalition, Cranmer's second choice falls to Ming Campbell. Again, he is a man of great stature with cross-party respect. A former Olympic sprinter and QC, he is one of the few Liberal Democrats who is not viscerally anti-American. There is much about him with which Conservatives may find difficulty - his support for multilateralism, the EU, the UN, higher taxation and opposition to Israel's military action in Gaza - but he would restore honour and integrity to the Office of Speaker.

And the joy is that Nadine Dorries affirms His Grace's opinion on this matter, and approves these two candidates. And it is she who is likely to shout 'No, no, no!' when the question is put to the Commons assembled.

Watch and pray.


Blogger Timothy Belmont said...

To my mind, Your Grace, little Bercow doesn't respect the traditions of Parliament by refusing to wear the correct attire; indeed, the man treats the Office of Speaker with contempt.

He must go.

We can do without so-called Modernisers like little Bercow.

17 May 2010 at 09:58  
Blogger Rebel Saint said...

I bow to Your Grace's superior knowledge on these matters. It would be hard to find someone more contemptuous than Bercow - wouldn't it?

Why have you abandoned your previous choice of Richard Shepherd?

17 May 2010 at 10:01  
Blogger John M Ward said...

Good choice! I hadn't thought of Edward Leigh, but have always been impressed with him on a range of characteristics, especially the respect and admiration of others throughout the House.

I once attended a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee, which helped to firm up my impression of Leigh.

If he's interested, he looks to be a good candidate for the position of Speaker; but would he be prepared to give up his PAC chairmanship...?

17 May 2010 at 10:11  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Rebel Saint,

Because he would not cross the crucial media charisma test: both of the above nomination would form an immediate rapport with the electorate. Regretfully, Richard Shepherd, pleasant, knowledgeable and affable though he is, could not. In this media-obsessed age, Parliament needs a person of charisma and gravitas. Edward Leigh and Sir Ming Campbell have it in buckets.

17 May 2010 at 10:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please also consider the excellent Sir Alan Beith, Methodist Lay Preacher and long-serving and diligent parliamentarian.

17 May 2010 at 10:35  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Getting rid of Bercow is a must. Getting his successor right is essential. Let's hope that common sense prevails.

17 May 2010 at 10:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace

No! No! No to Ming Campbell. I cannot see him stating the following:

‘"May it please your Majesty, I have neither eyes to see nor tongue to speak in this place but as this House is pleased to direct me, whose servant I am here; and humbly beg your Majesty's pardon that I cannot give any other answer than this to what your Majesty is pleased to demand of me".

So forward Edward Leigh: for God, Parliament and Country!

17 May 2010 at 11:25  
Blogger OldSlaughter said...

Your Grace,

The traditional turn-taking was of course broken by those who consider non-legally binding guidelines as just another anachronism.
It was broken with the appointment of Speaker Martin, the slight was then compounded with the election of John Bercow.

If they do remove this ghastly man, (all Old Slaughter's digits are crossed), they must honour the tradition and pick a non-Tory.

Frank Fields would suit me fine.

Please your Grace, as frivolous as this might be, cash in any chips you might have with the man upstairs and ask for Bercow to be voted out. Drinks are on me that day.

17 May 2010 at 11:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace

For our international readers a brief explanation of the quote in my post above:

On 4 January 1642, King Charles I entered the House of Commons to arrest five Members of Parliament for high treason. The MPs were Mr Holles, Mr Pym, Sir A Haslerig, Mr Hampden and Mr William Strode.

The House of Commons Journal records this event as follows: King Charles sits in the Speaker's Chair and Speaks to the Commons.

The Speaker at the time was William Lenthall.

His Majesty came unto the House and took Mr. Speaker's chair.

Gentleman I am sorry to have this occasion to come unto you

The Five Members had already fled. Speaker Lenthall did not give any information about them, instead replying to the King's questions as follows:

May it please your majesty, I have neither eyes to see nor tongue to speak in this place but as this house is pleased to direct me whose servant I am here; and humbly beg your majesty's pardon that I cannot give any other answer than this is to what your majesty is pleased to demand of me.

Speaker Lenthall therefore defied the King to uphold the privileges of Parliament. The King had to leave without arresting the Five Members.

No monarch has entered the House of Commons since then.

[In short, England did not need the so-clalled Enlightenment to tell her what democracy is!]

17 May 2010 at 11:46  
Anonymous circus monkey said...

Edward Leigh sounds just the ticket. Let's hope the "usual suspects" in ALL parties do not hold his Christian principles against him. You know how they like to proclaim their "right onness" by discriminating against all things Christian?

17 May 2010 at 11:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace

Mr OldSlaughter does raise an issue which is worthy of reflection: should parliament exercise the tradition of appointing a Speaker from Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition?

After all, the government usually has a majority and therefore, to ensure fair play, a Speaker is usually appointed from the ranks of the Opposition.

But if the traditional procedure is carried out in order to ensure fair play then one cannot be appointed from the benches of Her Majesty’s Coalition Government: Campbell is a member of a party that is in government – the Lib-Dems.

The Socialists will point out (if Leigh or Campbell are elected as Mr Speaker) that they elected Mr Bercow MP, then a member of the Conservative Party, as Mr Speaker and therefore they complied with tradition and the rules of fair play (of course everyone knew that Bercow was a socialist in Conservative clothing).

But my view is that this government (the Coalition) is not the norm and therefore requires extra-normal procedures to ensure fair play.

Secondly, by electing a Speaker from one of the governing parties, the Coalition is being truthful and ‘transparent’: that the British constitution is an emperor without clothes (and his nakedness, for shame, needs to be remedied (a written constitution following Lord Cromwell’s Statutory Instrument of Government needs be)).

Thirdly, it would reveal that Alistair Campbell and Tony Blair had carried out their sinister project (which now needs to be brought into the light of day): they called the Constitution’s bluff.

What a favour to truth, integrity and honesty would the election of Campbell or Leigh would perform.

If, only.

17 May 2010 at 13:46  
Blogger English Viking said...

Edward Leigh is a serial trougher, with very high expenses claims. He is also in bed with several Insurance Companies, which pay him tens of thousands of pounds for a total of 0 hours work per month.

Your Grace lists the numerous reasons why Ming Campbell would present problems, not least of which is his rabid dislike of all things Israeli, but is willing to overlook these fatal floors, as he thinks the man has 'charisma by the bucketful'. He was so charismatic, as the Leader of the LibDems, not so long ago, that whenever he rose to speak he was usually greeted with howls of laughter.

Expediency is a very dangerous thing, to be avoided at all costs in good Christian men.

17 May 2010 at 16:25  
Blogger English Viking said...

Flaws, not floors. Doh.

17 May 2010 at 16:25  
Anonymous RobertTheDevil said...

Ming Campbell....No No No....not another damned North Britisher please, it is after all an "English House" !!!

17 May 2010 at 16:28  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Does it matter?

The Speakers role is little more than ringmaster. The great British public will not be excited by it so I wouldn’t lose too much sleep over it.

Why do you all loath Bercow, he isn’t gay so there must be another reason or is it open season for short people who don’t care much for fancy dress?

17 May 2010 at 17:29  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

Graham Davis

you seem to display the imagination of an oxygen starved Jellyfish. The man is a complete twat, can you not appreciated this?

17 May 2010 at 17:44  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

I am not sure of the effect of a lack of oxygen would have on a jellyfish or indeed if it is capable of imagination but thanks anyway. Is a twat different from a twit?

17 May 2010 at 17:55  
Anonymous Oswin said...

English Viking - it is as you say, Ming the Merciless would have us all on our prayer mats; thus providing the Palestinians with inpromptu bicyle-stands prior to their launching explosive drainpipes at the Israelies.

Ps. We've just recovered from a dose of 'fatal floor' syndrome ourselves....dry-rot in the bathroom joists! It wasn't pretty, and it wasn't cheap...sobs...

17 May 2010 at 17:57  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

"I am not sure of the effect of a lack of oxygen would have on a jellyfish or indeed if it is capable of imagination"

No imagination.

Uses and definitions of the word 'Twat'.

Urban Dictionary


Cambridge Dictionary On Line

17 May 2010 at 19:50  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace

There is an usually high rate of logging on to this website: have I missed something?

17 May 2010 at 20:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would do away with MP as speaker. They are only chairing a meeting. Do away with all bias and rotate a high court judge through post every month.


17 May 2010 at 20:34  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr D. Singh,

His Grace is not sure what you mean: this has been a relatively modest Monday.

17 May 2010 at 21:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace

That is odd. I have been keeping note of figures on the number of times that people log onto my fellow posters 'blog-sites' and they seem to have risen unsually today.

Still, I may be mistaken.

I seem to have glanced at a report on ConservativeHome that there is a 'Net-Aristocracy'.

It seems that bloggers, such as you, are being noted by journalists and your thoughts are being 're-cycled' after a time-lag of approximately two weeks.

17 May 2010 at 21:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace

Last night the number of 'loggers-on' was 1,500. This blog is heading towards the 3,000 mark per day.

I shall see on the morrow how many there were today.

There is something unusual going on.

17 May 2010 at 22:35  
Anonymous Katy said...

Please, not Edward Leigh! He's too important. We need him where he can do most good - where he can put forward his seemingly quiet and unassuming, yet thoroughly effective and piercing views. And I need him to stay as Chair of the PAC, because he keeps giving my boss hell, which is as amusing as it is necessary!

17 May 2010 at 23:00  
Anonymous not a machine said...

I think the next speaker should establish harsh penalities for any leftie mp who spouts waffle whilst racking up the biggest bust in Ukhistory .It does seem rather unfair that given Labour had such an easy ride with speaker martin and sunbsiquently speaker Bercow that just as I am hopefull that we do get some proper answers that the conservatives will be the ones giving them .

Ming is an EU lovvie and we need to wrest our country back from it , i just find it hard to trust his EU stance being as his own party renaged on the manifesto pledge .

with all the 232 newbies need an experienced hand who will ensure quality debate to explain the correct (and not the repition of the fraud) and quality aspects of the speakers power in parliament .

Labours 1000 idiots and 1000 typewriters approach to legislation must be reminder and never happen again .

18 May 2010 at 03:28  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Not Ming Campbell, another sanctimonious and priggish Scottish lawyer. There is nothing like their unctuous rectitude to make one wish for separation of England from Scotland.

Why can't someone do a Yeltsin and have England withdraw from the United KIngdom and its debts ?

18 May 2010 at 07:25  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...


Go and see you doctor and tell him what is happening. It could be urgent.

18 May 2010 at 10:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr Gaites

I did. I told him that I kept hearing a ticking noise in my ears.

He said, 'Don't be alarmed.'

18 May 2010 at 11:49  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

The ayes have it your Grace. He is the speaker.

18 May 2010 at 15:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"A strong and stable government" and "A modern Speaker for the modern age."

Yup. No whip = no vote.
Just shout.

Why don't they just stop pretending and eliminate Parliament altogether? They could send all that much more money to Europe, then.

18 May 2010 at 15:54  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace

God has given you special intellectual talent.

And He has given you a people - who were once without a shepherd.

Don't throw it away old boy.

Don't do it.

18 May 2010 at 16:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace

It is written:

'So the LORD blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. For now he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 teams of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys.'

18 May 2010 at 17:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace

The closer one gets to God: more the intensity of pain.

It is through pain that God facilitates us to dance the dance of Adam backwards.

To the Beginning.

18 May 2010 at 18:28  
Blogger English Viking said...

Apologies for O/T, Your Grace,

D. Singh,

The portion of scripture you quote is evidence of the resurrection of the body.

You will find that God, in typical generosity of heart, doubled all that Job had lost, if you compare the totals given in in the first verses of chapter 1 of Job, to those given in the last verses of chapter 40, which you quote.

Everything doubled, except the children he had lost; because they would meet again on the last day, and so God had indeed doubled all.

18 May 2010 at 18:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr English Viking



You know, I get more out of my fellow posters than, often, from the pulpit on a Sunday morning.

18 May 2010 at 18:33  
Anonymous len said...

Many churches are not feeding the sheep they are merely going through religious rituals devoid of life.
People are leaving churches disappointed and disillusioned they are looking for truth and inspiration.
His Grace`s blog is an oasis in a spiritual desert.

18 May 2010 at 19:12  
Anonymous Anguished Soul said...

Oh, that I wish my local church would feed me.

Don't lose heart, Your Grace. We are in the end times.

18 May 2010 at 22:40  
Anonymous Get Smart said...

First chance Tory MPs had to show some backbone they bottled out, its dowmhill from here.

19 May 2010 at 02:21  
Anonymous no nonny said...

Those stats are interesting - I've been watching. The numbers have gone down a bit over the last day or so.

Pity about the er, wild halloo... and the cow, and all that.

The ground's beginning to look soggy really fast, isn't it? I think the Soul has a point about the time of day.

Meanwhile yes, Len: I say His Grace is also a haven of literacy, and even of respectable politics. Lord, it's wonderful here!

19 May 2010 at 08:47  
Anonymous no nonny said...

Oh- and I just read Kilimanjaro again; I think Hemingway agreed with Mr. Singh!

In Harry's parallel reality of flashbacks: They had had an argument one time about our Lord never sending you anything you could not bear and someone's theory had been that meant that a certain time the pain passed you out automatically. And then, the little plane carries the writer away from his struggle with corruption on the plain - and up near the House of God, where the Big Cats go to be preserved! Or so it seems to me:)

Though it rather re-awakens a longing for the old 'fair field of folk,' I must say!

19 May 2010 at 09:33  
Anonymous Oswin said...

Oh no no nonny no! Not Hemmingway!

19 May 2010 at 17:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

no nonny,

His Grace is back in business.

The Lord's peace be with you.

19 May 2010 at 19:19  
Anonymous no nonny said...

All right Oswin. I won't do it again.

He's harsh and rough, I agree (and probably misogynist!); though the writing is good. This one makes me think he's read and understood something mediaeval.

19 May 2010 at 19:27  
Anonymous no nonny said...

... like Chaucer - on the processing of words and 'fame,' on the way to Salvation.

19 May 2010 at 20:43  
Blogger Unsworth said...

Your Grace is right to highlight the tremendous work of Edward Leigh. He and his committee have done remarkably well - despite the odds - in the face of a recalcitrant, manipulative and incompetent government.

19 May 2010 at 21:38  
Anonymous Oswin said...

no nonny - he WAS medieval!

Well, as much as an American might. They don't do it properly; and they just won't be told.

Question : the medieval/medievalist - can it/they exist in all tenses; or is that too oblique?

23 May 2010 at 19:57  
Anonymous no nonny said...

Oswin - I'm not sure what you mean; but I think they could? My focus is Anglo-centric, of course!

Still, remembering my other quotes about time, I think the greatest writers have often addressed universal and timeless concepts, from the pov of their own contexts. The first citation was: We may enjoy the present while we are insensible of infirmity and decay: but the present, like a note in music, is nothing but as it appertains to what is past and what is to come. W. S. Landor (1775-1864). Aesop and Rhodope.

So if we parallel a modernist work and a medieval one (ranging from OE to late--and those will often reference the classical), the more associations we identify between the works, the more clearly their shared themes emerge. Closer analysis might then reveal that they also share a plot of Christian and cosmic dimensions: in their treatment of Redemption, for example. I expect you know others of that genre throughout our lit.

Sorry if that's too much or not what you meant.

24 May 2010 at 08:47  
Anonymous no nonny said...

Oswin P.S: You remind me of a remark I once heard about an American hotel called 'The Columbus.' "Oh Dahling, he built it!"

24 May 2010 at 09:28  
Anonymous no nonny said...

Oswin PPS: Maybe I begin to see... how Northumbrian of you.

So to expand a little on the above - I see Geoffrey and Harry as taking similar cosmic journeys up their mountains; and Chaucer depicts a neo-Platonic scale that negates anachronism of time and place. For early stuff, yes, the inflections help with interpretation in tenses and the most obvious vocab., even among Americans.

24 May 2010 at 13:50  
Anonymous Oswin said...

no nonny - thank you. I asked what was, even for me, an obtuse question; and yet you took the time to be thoughtful, in all senses.

I hope that Mr.Singh is correct, in that you are indeed female; for there is NOTHING sexier than a 'bluestocking' firing on all cylinders; and a medievalist to boot!

My apologies if wrong; blame Mr.Singh!

Regards, Oswin.

25 May 2010 at 01:05  
Anonymous no nonny said...

Many thanks for your thoughtfulness and brilliance, Oswin! Hope I'm not too bold in observing that your daughters are rather fortunate young women.

Otherwise - both of you here are gentlemen: neither apologies nor blame are due in either case. Wyrd it is though--I was orginally horrified at the prospect of being a 'bluestocking'! Then I wore a uniform that required them; and, now this-having finally worn long skirts while pursuing my natural mindset!

As to the pain thing, please forgive my adaptation of a story from an old Len Deighton novel:- A missionary to the heart of darkness stumbles into a 'civilized' compound; he is shot through with arrows, knives etc. A missionary nurse of the Ratchett family tweaks them a bit, tests a broken rib for crepitus, and asks, "Does it hurt?" He replies, "Only when I laugh."

So, while the notes of 'Zulu Warrior' reverberate in the distance, my prayer is of thanks - to you and Mr. S, His Grace, and the Lord.

25 May 2010 at 23:42  
Anonymous Oswin said...

no nonny - you are too kind.

26 May 2010 at 01:01  

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