Well well, the publicity over the near-whipping of MPs to support Margaret Beckett backfired. And we now have Speaker Bercow, who – say those in the know – has more support in the Labour party than from his now-former colleagues in the Conservative party.
He’s a better choice than Sir George Young in any case, the “bicycling baronet”, who once infamously described the homeless as people you step over when leaving the opera. (Not that Bercow is unstained – his relatively left-wing views today stand in contrast to the swivel-eyed right-wingery of his past.)
Bercow promises reform. What will be his first reforming act, I wonder? I still remember the shock and awe when Betty Boothroyd dispensed with the wig, though it’s fair to say she had the hair for it. Perhaps Bercow will do without the long gown traditionally worn (and carried by some peasant) while processing from Speaker’s House to the chamber. Perhaps he’ll abandon the entire fancy dress; I suspect the skies might fall were he to do so. It would certainly be a signal; but only a signal.
As I write, some ancient ritual is about to take place by which the Queen, via the Lords, confirms him in his illustrious position. Naturally, this involves processions, Black Rod and flamboyant haberdashery. I look forward to watching it on a news channel with some idiot blathering over the top. Me, probably.