Monday, June 22, 2009

Beckett the Unspeakerable

The very fact that Labour whips are rumoured to be in favour of Margaret Beckett winning the speakership is reason enough to hope against hope that she does not get in this afternoon.

It's barely two weeks since she left ministerial office - her mindset is bound to be that of defending the government, rather than defending the rights of Parliament to scrutinise the Government effectively.

It would not surprise me if there were collusion between reactionary Labour and Tory forces to ensure that the person who is elected is not going to carry out the reforms that are necessary. It's not so much a new broom that's needed, but an industrial deep steam clean and there's still a battle to be had between the reactionary old forces who want to keep going on as before and those who really want to transform our democracy into one fitting for the 21st century.

I have to say that I thought Nick Clegg was awesome on the Andrew Marr show yesterday. The full transcript of the interview is here on the AM website. The bit that stood out for me was his vision of what a Speaker should do -

"I want to see a Speaker who transforms the role of Speaker from the traditional role - which is a defender of the status quo, almost a shop steward of the rights and privileges of MPs - into a people's Speaker, into a Speaker who opens up parliament, turns from this 19th century institution into a modern, transparent, open, publicly accessible 21st century parliament. And whichever of the candidates persuades me that they really mean that tomorrow, I will vote for them."

Electing the establishment's finest in Mrs Beckett would be the turkeys voting for Christmas option in terms of Parliament exercising its rights over the Government - so don't do it, ok?

I'm looking forward to watching it all unfold this afternoon. I shall watch the speeches and then, when it all gets boring in between the rounds of voting, there's always Wimbledon to keep me amused. Happy days!

You can find more information on how they are going to elect the Speaker here and if you're out and about you can follow the proceedings on Twitter here

UPDATE: Funnily enough, I'm not alone in my antipathy to Mrs Beckett being installed in the Speaker's Chair. So are Alex, Mark, Stephen, Bernard, Wit and Wisdom, that fabulous elephant and adorable Andrew who in fairness doesn't decry Beckett but does have a go at the political shenanigans of the Government whips.

Now I'm going to get some Earl Grey and go and watch the proceedings unfold.

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1 comment:

Alex Wilcock said...

And with that headline, you go into the lead! Superb.


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