After Commons Speaker John Bercow passed severely adverse comment on the idea that he should go along with the idea of allowing Combover Crybaby Donald Trump to address Parliament, there was talk in the right-leaning part of the Fourth Estate that this was one show of independence too far. How dare this upstart insult our greatest ally? How dare he insult the Queen, who had invited The Donald to pay a state visit?
And how dare he express an opinion? Dammit, he’s the Speaker, and he must remain neutral! This was, of course, total crap from start to finish. The invitation to pay a state visit had been extended to Trump by our not at all unelected Prime Minister, and Brenda has to go along with it. Moreover, there’s a difference between “remaining neutral” and “saying what the Tories want to hear”. But one Tory back bencher wasn’t having any of that.
James Duddridge, who succeeded appalling right-wing bore Teddy Taylor as MP for Rochford and Southend East, has put forward Early Day Motion 943, which has the proposition “That this House has no confidence in Mr Speaker”. This, too, was trumpeted by the right-leaning press: Bercow would be seriously damaged goods if a hundred or so Tories signed up. The writing was surely on the wall.
Sadly, though, all the speculation has come to nothing. Because, as the Guardian has reported, the state visit is to be scheduled when Parliament is in recess: “The US president’s controversial visit is now expected to run from a Thursday to a Sunday in late summer or early autumn, with officials trying to ensure that Trump is not in London at a time when parliament is sitting, in order to avoid a formal snub”.
This means the parties have implicitly accepted that Bercow’s word is final - and it also avoids any problems for Norman Fowler, his opposite number in the Lords. Moreover, it also accepts that Bercow is unlikely to be removed from the Speaker’s chair any time before his intended retirement from the position next year. Even James Duddridge is having less than total success with his Early Day Motion.
The MP has so far secured just one signature - his own. It is a humiliating result after all that talking up. So the Mail has had to try and fight back, claiming “Donald Trump is not interested in addressing Parliament when he makes a state visit to the UK this summer, it emerged last night … a Whitehall source … flatly denied reports claiming the President's visit could be delayed until the parliamentary recess in August in order to avoid the impression he was being snubbed”. Who to believe, Mail or Guardian?
Trump would jump at the chance to address Parliament. All that the Mail does by flying this kite is to show they are part of the establishment effort to normalise having a self-confessed sex pest in the White House, legitimising this modern-day Chauncey Gardiner figure who believes what he sees on Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse).
John Bercow has emerged victorious from the latest round of speculation - just as he has done from all the previous rounds of speculation. The Fake News ain’t making it.