Simon Carr: Mr Speaker can never be the same again

The Sketch

Share
Related Topics

How can the Speaker continue? He’s been butchered. His reputation has been rendered. If you remember, we left him on Wednesday, flailing for his life on the Speaker’s throne. He offered two parliamentary remedies to the arrest of that Tory MP – a debate, and a committee appointed by himself.

Since then, the Leader of the House has been on television refusing half a dozen times to confirm her confidence in him, the debate he offered has been hijacked by the Government, and his committee has snapped into action by adjourning itself before it’s been constituted. Nor will he be choosing it himself – it is “to represent the composition of the House” (ie, it will have a voting majority of toadies, placemen, sycophants, careerists and yes-persons). He has been so comprehensively undermined that he was nodding in agreement when Theresa May made some of these observations. You can’t imagine how complete the cultural collapse has to be for that old cannibal to be nodding agreement with Theresa the Tory.

He is now a creature of the executive. A proper Speaker would shoot himself. One of the advantages of Mr Martin not being a proper Speaker is that we are spared the drama.

Against all the evidence (I mean the five pints of nastiness I’ve poured on him over the years), I quite like him. He has courage, and that’s always admirable. He’s overcome |the odds to rise to a great position. In his heyday he faced down the Prime Minister and the bellowing Chancellor. And he can keep order in the House. But he’s been rolled. Bundled. Trampled. He’s been treated with such contempt – and by his own people – that no one can look at him in the same way again.

Jacqui Smith’s statement did little to calm the situation – rather the opposite. There was shouting. Three times, proper, red-faced, deep-chested yelling from one side. And a number of high-minded points from the other. Which party was saying what? It doesn’t matter: after the next election the arguments will be the same but the proponents will be reversed. But three questions raised the voltage in the debate. Did the police now have access to the parliamentary server – and thereby to all MPs’ emails? If the charges were so serious, why weren’t they laid under the Official Secrets Act? And come to that, how many of the 20 leaks claimed by the Home Secretary actually involved national security?

The Home Secretary’s response to that produced two great reactions. The first when she said that the answer was in a police letter laid in the Commons Library. And the second, when it was revealed the letter in question made no reference to that at all. I like this brouhaha. It shows how far we have come in the last 10 years

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Engineer

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for an I...

Recruitment Genius: Project Assistant

£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a leading company in the field ...

Recruitment Genius: DBA Developer - SQL Server

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

£26041 - £34876 per annum: Recruitment Genius: There has never been a more exc...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Larry Fink, the boss of fund manager BlackRock , is among those sounding the alarm  

Not all discounts are welcome: Beware the myopia of company bosses

Ben Chu
Cilla Black lived her life in front of the lens, whether on television or her earlier pop career  

Cilla Black dead: A sad farewell to the singer who gave us a 'lorra, lorra laughs'

Gerard Gilbert
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen