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June 21, 2009


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Paul Flynn

The rigmarole of seeking the Monarch's approbation yesterday was straight out of comic opera. No signs of modernisation there. Must be patient.

Grant T

Congratulations Speaker Bercow!

John Bercow was not my favoured candidate but has been elected in purely democrat way. I am sure he will make a good speaker and will do his best. I am just not sure whther he will be the reformer say Richard Shepherd would of been.

Chris Carter

Congratulations to Bercow!

I certainly hope the publics voice is heard after this speaker election

I'd love to see:
Proportional Representation or some new form of voting to grant the vote to the people

An elected House of Lords

A written constitution - to put our rights in written text, not this ramshackle attempt at representing our rights

I would also like to remove the monarchy from its position, and fully democratise the United Kingdom

Whether all this is possible, I don't know, but I am truly optimistic for the future now that parliament is off the green mile after the expenses scandal.

Grant T

Just two candidates left; John Bercow and Sir George Young.

I want Sir George Young to win but I feel that John Bercow will be the next speaker.

Grant T

John Bercow - 179 votes
Sir George Young - 112 votes
Margaret Beckett - 74 votes
Sir Alan Haselhurst - 66 votes
Sir Alan Beith - 55 votes
Ann Widdecombe - 44 votes
Parmjit Dhanda - 26 votes, eliminated
Richard Shepherd - 15 votes, eliminated
Sir Patrick Cormack - 13 votes, eliminated
Sir Michael Lord - 9 votes, eliminated


Two of my favourites have been eliminated. Sir George Young has my support in the second round.


I have recently left a post working with one of the country's leading organisations investigating climate change and I haven't heard about the research you're referring to. I would be very keen to read some, however. If you could send me some references, I'd really appreciate that.

And I think most people would agree that Ann is a character, so yes, I can see where my poor spelling caused confusion. I was, though, suggesting that she is a cariacture - in as much as she's a woman of very exagerated, black and white extremes and sees the world in over-simplification. The world isn't like that. There's not always a clear right and wrong.


I didn't know what you meant - I was torn between "character" and "cariacture".

As for letting the scientific community know about global cooling, they already know and it is from they that I get my information.

Back to who will be Speaker......


I apologise for my spelling mistake. Oddly, you knew what I meant which is probably more telling than anything you've said so far...

I'll let the science community that know that the world is cooling and that we're all barking up the wrong tree, too. Thanks for the info.


Craig said:

"The woman doesn't believe in climate change, for goodness sake..."

I think that most people believe in climate change - after all, it's been happening for centuries - but there is a lot of controversy surrounding anthropogenic global warming.

If Ann Widdecombe rejects that nonsense, that tax-raising ploy that is without observational foundation, since the world has been COOLING for the past ten years, she has just gone up another notch in my estimation.

But that's not what this thread is about. The last thing I want to do is to engage in a discussion about AGW.



If Ann Widdecombe is, as you claim, totally out of touch with the general public, why is she the public's choice?

Btw, what kind of a word is "characerture"?

Do you mean character or cariacture?

However politically incorrect it may be, I have always suspected the opinions of those who have not mastered the meaning and/or spelling of their native language.


The woman doesn't believe in climate change, for goodness sake...

She changed religion in protest when women could be ordained as priests in the Church of England. She's voted against equal rights for homosexuals every time she's has the opportunity. What a step backwards that would be to have such a person in such an important position in UK government.


Anne Widdecome does not connect with me. I see her as a spectacle, and a scary one at that. Her views are driven by very conservative christianity, spouts a lot of 'traditional family values' rhetoric that isn't particlualry reformist in my opinion, and is completely out of touch with the general public.

The public know her because she's a characerture, has written some books and has been on TV. Just because the public might want someone they recognise doesn't mean they are the right person for the job!


Haselhurst now. Sir Alan to those who who accede to titular importance.

Boring, boring, boring.....more crafted speeches and attempted humour that arouses little more than a titter from the House and only a groan from me.

"Encourage towards consensus"!!! what sort of leadership is that? Who wants some watered down, consensual version of necessary reform? It was that kind of consensus and lack of firm leadership that exacerbated the expenses scandal, culminating in the publication of so-called "redacted" information that further diminished parliament in the eyes of the public.

We don't want consensus, we want impartiality, but we also want and need firm guidance.

Parmjit Dhanda speaking now.

I can't see the point of commenting on his speech....he's the token ethnic minority candidate without the necessary experience to ever be capable of taking on the role of Speaker of the House.


To continue my running commentary - I do hope you appreciate this Mr Flynn, a front-seat view of the antics on stage, so to speak - Michael Lord has already bored the pants off me with his carefully constructed speech; it is not a Churchillian declamation that the country needs at this moment (and nor should the House of Commons require same if their honest desire is to reconnect with the public) it is an honest and sincere and pragmatic approach to an unprecedented loss of faith by the the electorate in those whom they elect.

Oh no, Sir Patrick Cormack has just done a Churchill reference! How wrong can MPs be!

Get off the oratorium and start to talk to us with sincerity and purpose. Stop speechifying, just for once.


Richard Shepherd sounds sincere, but he has put his finger on the biggest problem currently facing parliament - a need to reconnect with the public.

That's where Ann Widdecombe scores above all other candidates.

I mean, which average member of the public has a clue who Richard Shepherd is, however good a candidate for Speaker he might be?

There's no way he will be able to reconnect with the public.


Of course one recognises the broader remit of a Speaker than just dealing with the expenses scandal. For starters, backbenchers have to be heard; they have all but been silenced under Martin's Speakership.

Having just listened to the speeches of the candidates for Speaker, to date, Beckett was as boring as one would expect from a caravanner, Widdecombe showed she meaned business concerning the need to give backbenchers a voice, Beith and Young were so boring I switched off, and Bercow sounds like a parody of himself - Bremner would have a field day. He's still talking while I type, but has yet to say a word that I find sincere or anything other than crafted.

I'm still lilstening to the speeches, though.....


I think that it's important to remember that the post of speaker is a much broader one than just dealing with the recent expenses fiasco. When the MPs make their choice of speaker I hope they choose the best person to do complete job, not the one best placed to dust-pan-and-brush the most recent scandal.


More fool MPs if they elect a Speaker only to embarrass the party opposite - as I said in a previous post that caused so many ructions.

The public has already had more than enough of MPs playing feather-my-own-nest and let's-annoy-the-party-opposite. We're looking for people of integrity to represent us, not morons who want only to play silly power games or line their own pockets.

I warn you, Mr Flynn, the public will not forgive the election of Bercow or Beckett to the Speaker's chair.

I am in touch with public opinion in this matter. Are you?

I, for one, shall actively campaign for open revolt if Beckett, the woman who believes that replete-with-plants hanging baskets are a legitimate expense to claim from the public purse in pursuit of parliamentary duties, is elected to the Speakership.

Paul Flynn

I hope you are wrong Tony. We will soon know whether the Commons is going to choose the best reformer. The candidates speeches will be crucial.


It would be nice if the vote went to a out and out reformer committed to bringing Parliament into the 21st century

..and yet... stories abound of candidates being chosen to cause maximum embarrassment to the other party..

given the background to when this election takes place an important critieria would be a Speaker than was going to address the concerns of the public but if MP's choose a candidate that is obviously not a reformer then we have yet another PR own goal ..

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