There is, it is believed, a core of around forty MPs who are unhappy with having John Bercow in the Speaker’s chair, although this also means that there are over 600 others who are either happy with his presence, or not fussed. This is no more than a faction of unhappiness, especially as they are most unlikely to get their way on the issue.
And there is at least one intermittently tired lobby hack who also dislikes Speaker Bercow: step forward the Daily Mail’s Quentin Letts, the man who suggested in one recent column that there is an English Parliament. Letts spent four years at Jesus College Cambridge, studying Medieval and Renaissance Literature, in a singularly magisterial waste of both time and money.
The boorish and unfunny Letts has a number of problems with his dislike of John Bercow: those who matter in the Commons, such as Young Dave, Mil The Younger and Corporal Clegg, together with their senior colleagues, have no problem with the current occupant of the Speaker’s chair, and have more pressing problems than obliging a whingeing clique and their pet hack.
Moreover, Bercow is moving to reform the business of the Commons, giving more time for back-benchers to question ministers, nudging the Coalition towards making its policy announcements there, and not at set piece events elsewhere, as happened rather a lot under the administrations of Tone and Pa Broon. This might not be evident to the lobby, especially if one of their number isn’t looking.
But Letts’ greatest problem is that he is getting his “inside” information from the clique who don’t like Bercow – those like (yes, it’s her again) Tory MP for Mid Bedfordshire Nadine Dorries – and they are more than happy to tell the Mail’s resident lobby hack exactly what he wants to hear. Ms Dorries credibility has yet to completely recover from claiming that her blog was “70% fiction”.
What Letts needs to do – although it may come to his having to be told by his legendarily foul mouthed editor – is to accept that his information on Bercow’s imminent demise is in the “dodgy dossier” category, that nobody who matters is even remotely interested in his ramblings, and that, if he is to keep sucking on the teat of Dacre largesse, he could at least file some original copy in return.Otherwise, it’s even more obvious that Quentin Letts is just another dinosaur waddling sadly and inevitably into the sunset.
Indeed. One thing: his Wikipedia article - and your good self, Tim - makes reference to his four years (mis)spent as a chubby-faced undergrad at Jesus College, Cambridge. According to my copy of Who's Who, the sum of these endeavours was a Diploma in Classical Archaeology. Impressive, eh? I smell a rat. More likely that our ol' chum spent four years earning his MA at Trinity College, Dublin, augmented by the necessary Oxbridge qualification afterwards. After all, if he'd got into Cambridge first time, he'd be working for the Grauniad by now.
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