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Saturday 6 July 2013

John Bercow – Letts Gets Rumbled

[Update at end of post]

The campaign of malicious defamation against Commons speaker John Bercow (and his wife Sally) by the odious Quentin Letts (let’s not) continues unabated, with the narrative the same as ever: Bercow is utterly detested by back-bench Tories, on the brink of being removed, appallingly biased towards Labour, someone who has got above himself, and a figure of routine mockery.
Harry Potter and the Gobshite of Arslikhan

Letts, who believes himself to be hilariously funny, has to this end christened Bercow “The Squeaker”. Laugh? I thought I’d never start. And the abuse, as I noted a while ago, extends to his calling Sally Bercow a “scuttle-jawed doxy”. Doxy is Old English slang for prostitute: I didn’t use the phrase “malicious defamation” lightly. But then a problem enters: Bercow is still in post, and there is no sign of him being ousted.

This is despite Letts’ constant sneering, exemplified by “Speakers were once above the political fray, lofty figures who, in their wigs and with their impartial grandeur, were like senior judges of appeal. This Speaker, in his polytechnic lecturer’s gown and with his teenage tantrums, has forfeited any such respect”. Really, Quent? So career Tory back-benchers will back that up, yes?

Actually, no they won’t, and here we encounter Douglas “Kamikaze” Carswell, an MP of ultimate independent spirit, whose politics, by his own admission, are significantly different from the Speaker’s, but who has taken to the bear pit that is Telegraph blogs to expose Letts’ vacuous and bitter sniping for what it is. “John Bercow is not biased – and it's a myth that he's loathed on the Tory backbenches” he asserts.

Carswell notes that some of his colleagues have been ticked off by Bercow, before observing: “How dare a minister turn up to make an announcement that will impact the lives of thousands, without bothering to bring the detail? How demeaning that an MP should ever ask a toady question, intended to gain favour with the whips?”, before the line that will haunt Quentin Letts for the rest of his days.

Politicians' pet pundits might sneer at the Speaker. The rest of the country should cheer him each time he ruffles feathers ... as Speaker of the House of Commons, he deserves support from all those who think Parliament ought to do better. Thanks to Bercow, the Commons is starting to count once more”. Who those “pet pundits” are, who “might sneer”, leads right to Quent’s door.

Oh dear, Quentin Letts has been telling his readers a trumped-up pack of lies. This is hardly surprising, given that Letts routinely fails to take notes and just makes it all up at some later time, occasionally copying and pasting from Hansard to assist his memory. And if he’s been so obviously lying about Bercow, what about all the others he’s been putting the boot into of late?

Reputation instantly shredded, there goes Quentin Letts. On his way ... out.

[UPDATE 7 July 1725 hours: as if to underscore that the pretence of the Daily Mail and Mail On Sunday being two wholly separate enterprises is no more than the hot air expelled by their assembled hacks, the latter has gone in to bat in support of Letts this morning - this being, as readers will of course appreciate, a total coincidence.

"Fears for Speaker's marriage after claims his outbursts at MPs are caused by trouble at home" pontificates the headline, as the claim is made that the MoS has been taking soundings from "Friends of John Bercow" - clearly the kind that leave him in no need of enemies.

Unnamed MPs are supposed to have missed seeing Sally Bercow around the Palace of Westminster, which may be because she has a family to look after. A photo shows the couple opting for different styles of wine - he drinks red, she prefers white - to emphasise the potential for division. There are "reports of the couple being overheard shouting and arguing with one another".

But let's cut to the point: the lead writer of this piece is notorious maker-upper of stories Simon Walters, and it's just another mean-spirited hatchet job intended to take the heat off the odious Letts after Douglas Carswell let the cat out of the bag and showed that the Mail's nasty and sneering diarist has been caught lying to order - and for some years now.

The MoS has absolutely no evidence to stand this story up. Not a scrap. So no change there, then]

1 comment:

Neil said...

He's only carrying out the orders of the Dark Lord of Northcliffe House. Queynton always reminds me of Tolkien's obsequious Wormtongue.