Bollocks to Bercow

Good riddance to the anti-democratic speaker.

Noel Yaxley

Share
Topics Brexit Politics UK

If there is any potential for celebration during the current constitutional nightmare, it is the news that John Bercow is stepping down as speaker of the House of Commons.

Bercow made the announcement yesterday in his typically bombastic style during the last parliamentary session before the summer conference season begins. Rather than make use of the precious little time to debate or get on with Brexit – the thing we have been tearing our hair out to get done for the past three-and-a-half years – MPs turned the Commons into a Bercow love-in.

For a solid hour-and-a-half, a nauseating and sycophantic gushing emanated from the opposition benches. Jeremy Corbyn led the adoration. ‘Democracy is stronger for your being the speaker’, said the Labour leader, before calling Bercow ‘superb’.

Of course, Bercow’s real role in parliament has not been to strengthen democracy but to weaken it. Time and again, he has stood in the way of Brexit. By deciding when and when not to follow parliamentary precedent, he has done everything in his gift to thwart the will of the 17.4million people who voted to leave the EU.

In March, he cited an archaic 400-year-old rule to block a third reading of Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement. He went well beyond his capacity as speaker effectively to force May to return to the EU and push for an extension to the Article 50 process.

He also facilitated last week’s chaos by allowing MPs to seize control of the parliamentary timetable using Standing Order 24. This effectively gave control to Remainer MPs who relished the opportunity to remove No Deal from the negotiating table.

The speaker of the house is supposed to be impartial but Bercow is no such thing. He has admitted to voting Remain in the 2016 EU referendum. His Brussels-based bias is constantly on show – most ostentatiously on his family car, which was photographed emblazoned with a ‘Bollocks to Brexit’ sticker (though he claims it belonged to his wife).

Bercow embodies the anti-democratic establishment class. Because of him and his Remainer allies, the public is extremely frustrated and increasingly angry. His sheer arrogance and contempt for Brexiteers has helped to sharpen the divide between the people and parliament. He has complained that Johnson’s decision to prorogue parliament was ‘an offence against the democratic process’, but he has spent the past three years undermining the largest vote in UK history. One government source put it bluntly: ‘Bercow thinks he’ll walk away as a hero, when most people in the country don’t know who he is and those that do think he’s a nauseating wanker.’

We must hope the next speaker will respect not just parliamentarians but also the people – the source of parliament’s authority. But with the current crop of MPs, we could very well see more of the same.

Noel Yaxley is a writer.

Picture by: Getty.

Rod Liddle and Brendan O’Neill in conversation at Podcast Live!

Rod Liddle and Brendan O'Neill
– live in London

Podcast Live

Podcast Live, Friends House, London, NW1 2BJ – 5 October 2019, 2.30pm-3.30pm

To get tickets, click the button below, then scroll down to The Brendan O'Neill Show logo on the Podcast Live page.

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.

Comments

Richard Day

11th September 2019 at 11:56 am

Ironically, Bercow lectures visiting guests from other parliaments on how to properly conduct parliamentary proceedings. He then drives away in a car with a Bollocks to Brexit sticker in the window. He is disgraceful character. The question is, what does him and his cohorts want to replace our democracy with?

Stephen J

11th September 2019 at 6:52 am

Well according to some in the media, Harriet Harperson has a very good chance of bringing the office of Mr. Speaker to an even lower point than Bercow, if that is possible.

Can you imagine?

Ven Oods

10th September 2019 at 6:15 pm

“most people in the country don’t know who he is and those that do think he’s a nauseating wanker.’

While self-abuse may not necessarily lead to vomiting, some authorities hold that it can stunt your growth. The Speaker should have been obliged to keep his hands visible at all times while in the House.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to comment. Log in or Register now.