June 15, 2009
It may very well have escaped your attention with all that’s going on at the moment but we are now just one week away from the election of the next speaker. This is a very important election and the right decision needs to be made, we can no longer afford to waste time with reforms and we need someone who will be able to deliver them.
It is with this in mind that Ann Widdecombe has today warned the bookies favourite, John Bercow, that he should reconsider his nomination if he cannot secure more support from the Conservative benches. In today’s Daily Mail she said:
“I don’t want to take the job feeling that half the House doesn’t want me there, and John Bercow must consider that very, very carefully… He has got years ahead of him in the Commons. If that’s the situation then I think he must ask himself if this is the moment that he should be standing for Speaker.”
The “Conservative” MP Mr Bercow has next to no support from Conservative MPs. However Labour MPs are lining up behind him because they know they can’t elect another Labour speaker (3 in a row) so they will back Bercow, as they know his election will annoy the Conservatives. Many Conservatives have not forgiven Bercow for joining Brown’s ‘Government of all the talents’ as an adviser and they also dislike his strong backing for Labour measures.
This weekend the highly principled Frank Field ended his bid to become the next speaker because of his lack of support from his fellow Labour MPs. In a warning to Mr Bercow he blogged: “A Speaker must also, at the same time, command support amongst all the parties here at Westminster, including their own.” In my opinion Bercow should follow Field’s example and bow out of the race, we can’t afford another divisive speaker, the consequences could be too hard to bear.
April 16, 2009
The big news story today is that Damian Green will not be prosecuted for aiding and abetting misconduct in public office and that Chris Galley will not be prosecuted for the leaking of Home Office documents. This just goes to show what a scandal it was that Green was arrested in the first place and that his Parliamentary office was searched. Here’s the key section of the statement from the CPS:
“I have concluded that the information leaked was not secret information or information affecting national security:
It did not relate to military, policing or intelligence matters. It did not expose anyone to a risk of injury or death. Nor, in many respects, was it highly confidential. Much of it was known to others outside the civil service, for example, in the security industry or the Labour Party or Parliament. Moreover, some of the information leaked undoubtedly touched on matters of legitimate public interest, which were reported in the press.”
Damian Green made the following statement after hearing of the news:
“I welcome the decision by the Director of Public Prosecutions, and I want to thank the thousands of people who have contacted me with support. A large part of my job as Conservative Immigration spokesman is to expose Government failings in immigration policy. That is precisely what I was doing, and that is why Ministers were so embarrassed.
“This led to the first arrest of an opposition politician for doing his job since Britain became a democracy. I cannot think of a better symbol of an out of touch, authoritarian, failing Government which has been in power much too long.”
So what conclusions can be drawn from this whole affair:
- The Home Secretary should resign, if she is so willing to waste police time and taxpayers money on trying to smear a leading Conservative, then she can’t remain in post. The real national security implication of the case was the diversion of overstretched anti-terrorist forces – for political means – that should be protecting the public. Also why did she see fit to pass on lies to the police about the contents of the leaked documents to “sex up” the case against Green and Galley?
- The civil service is now so politicised and biased in its work that they might as well be working as Labour party staffers. Civil servants willingly exaggerated – perhaps at the bequest of Jackie Smith – the national security implications of the leaks, which was perhaps the main reason for the arrests and enquiry. A good example of this compliance was demonstrated by Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell this week, when he ruled out an inquiry into whether minister Tom Watson knew about the “Smear-gate” emails. He said he “is happy to accept the minister’s denials, and the case is now closed.” Typical. After the next election a large proportion of the “servants” need to be purged.
- The Speaker should go now. If the Speaker of the House of Commons had done his duty, Damian Green would not have been arrested in the first place.
- Why on earth did he allow the police to enter Green’s office without a warrant? He knew in advance about the arrest, chose not to be present when the arrest was to take place, and went along with what the government wanted. This is exactly the opposite of what a speaker should do, after all his main role is to defend Parliament from the state.
- Finally the police must surely have known what would happen before they decided to arrest Green and enter the Commons, so why on earth then did they go ahead with it? This is yet another example of how politicised the police have become, acting as they now do as the foot soldiers for the Labour party. The Police acted rashly and immaturely and they appeared blind to the implications of what they did, at least Quick of the yard has now gone.