Leading article: The new Commons order

Order, order! Speaker Bercow certainly looked rather different from his predecessor. And his manner was more confident, bordering on the self-satisfied. But it was continuity, not change, that was most striking.

The test was how to deal with the rowdy class, especially on the Conservative side, in uproar over the Prime Minister's refusal to acknowledge that a statement he had made to the previous Speaker, had been untrue. Mr Bercow did exactly what Mr Martin did: let them make a lot of noise; stilled them briefly by saying that the public "doesn't like it and neither do I", then did nothing when they next started shouting.

Our advice to Mr Bercow is not to bother. It's all part of the show. The public say they don't like it, but they'd soon lose interest if Prime Minister's Questions became the "calm, reasoned debate" for which the new Speaker later called. He should focus on reform, not wasting his authority inconsistently appealing for quiet. Order!

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