While the arguments begin over the third Budget speech delivered by the Rt Hon Gideon George Oliver Osborne, heir to the Seventeenth Baronet – his squeezing of the middle with lower tax thresholds and what is already being called a “Granny Tax” possibly combining with his tax cut for the wealthiest to make him less than universally popular – there is still light relief to be had in the right leaning press.
Somewhere that's never out of the news
Yesterday’s meeting of Parliamentarians at Westminster Hall, and their address by the Queen on the occasion of her Diamond Jubilee, has got the why-oh-why brigade in a terrible froth. Not because of anything Brenda or Phil said, of course, but because there was a speech beforehand by Commons Speaker John Bercow, which by definition is A Very Bad Thing Indeed.
So bad, in fact, that Peter Hoskin in the Spectator very deliberately relayed the video of the occasion while stressing that it did not contain Bercow’s speech. This was because Young Dave was not impressed by it. Hoskin’s link is to the Guido Fawkes blog, authored by two people – the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his tame gofer, the flannelled fool Henry Cole – for whom accuracy is not their first concern.
Over at the Telegraph, in a piece which, rarely for this paper, has no name on the by-line, the reason for why Bercow’s speech was considered so bad was broached: the Speaker had been talking about diversity, which is yet another Very Bad Thing. That is because, as any fule kno, it means gay people, as well as ethnic minorities, so it also means Muslims.
Even the normally sane Tom Chivers joined in, likening the Speaker to a drunken uncle at a wedding. But the real ranting just had to come from the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, and Jason Groves obediently poured scorn on Bercow’s “‘ghastly’ tribute” to the monarch. Groves assured readers that this was “one of the more printable verdicts”.
Harry Potter and the Tedium of the Mail
And in this he was backed up by the deeply unpleasant Quentin Letts (let’s not), well known animus of the Speaker, who was deeply upset by the whole affair, as he had to go and sit at the back (sound sense of humour those Parliamentary authorities have). “Good grief, said the Prime Minister’s face. What an APPALLING little man!” proclaimed the headline written by, er, an appalling little man.
Letts describes “Elgar’s Worcester Castle Severn Suite”, apparently missing that Worcester Castle is the subtitle for the opening Pomposo movement of the Severn Suite, which anyone knowing their classical oeuvre would have got right. But he makes up for this by a snark at Sally Bercow – although short of the Old English slang for “prostitute” he used recently – and correct use of the Latin term Exeunt.
And Letts has done what his editor ordered, so that’s all right, then.