I have to fess up, I didn’t know much about John Bercow until he was nominated for the role of Speaker. I’d seen him on Question Time and I was aware that he was a Tory but other than that, he was pretty much an unknown to me.
And now he’s won the race for Speakership and he’s caught my fascination. Apparently he’s been on a political journey of sorts, starting from the right of Thatcher and ending up at the centre which it seems for some Tories, is still way too close to the left. He’s been described as a bit of a closet socialist and his good lady wife is also reputedly a socialist which in the world of Tory MP, the Mad Nadine Dorries, contradicts his eligibility as Speaker. Personally, I doubt that either of the Bercows could be described as socialist in any real sense of the word but it does seem that John Bercow is a bit of a (I smell an oxymoron coming on) left-leaning Tory. And a left-leaning Tory Speaker is better than a true toss-pot Tory Speaker.
Ok, he’s been implicated in the expenses car-wreck but who hasn’t been tainted by that so let’s move on. The fact that he’s a Conservative should make me uneasy but if the Tories themselves don’t like the little guy I surely needn’t be concerned. I mean hell, if the Daily Mail is saying Gawd help us! then he can’t be all that bad, can he? The Tory-ites there think it’s all about Labour’s vengeance on the Tories for ousting the previous Labour Speaker. They also say that Labour (and I love this the best) has chosen Bercow out of mischief . . . a deliberate ploy to leave the future Tory government with a hostile Speaker. Folks, I laughed my socks and shoes off when I read that. Hats off to New Labour for that one if it’s true. His win has certainly got up the nose of Nadine Numptie on account of his abortion views. She reckons he’s zealous about abortion rights (Zealous?? Hark at her!!) and this too makes him unqualified for the Speakership.
Anyway, he’s going to reform things and re-engage with the public. We’ve heard that before from just about everybody who’s ever entered the HoC but I’ve just been looking into some of his values and I have to ask – why the hell is he in the Conservative party?
We shall see. Hell, I’m writing this like I know what I’m talking about. I don’t even know what the Speaker does apart from sit on a grand gilted chair and shout order at all the screeching monkeys who never take any notice.
Now on to the serious political news – you know, the issues that do make a difference. The school council elections.
Yes, it’s voting day at school again and my son has been nominated to be a school councilor. Thank goodness we saved all the rosettes and banners from last year’s campaign. Saved me a lot of hard work. We tweaked them up a bit though because one thing we learned from last year’s election is that some parents of the candidates took it very seriously and went all professional on us. You know, wooden placards with photographs of the candidate and proper printed leaflets with logo’s and stuff. And badges! Real metal pins with their faces smiling out at us! Oh, they proper showed us up. We looked small-time amateur in comparison. Me laddie’s manifesto pledges were very impressive but as with grown-up politics (if there is such a thing), it was all about image rather than substance and hey, if adults base their judgments on image alone, why should the kids be any different.
So this year, although we refused to hide behind gimmicks because we had faith in the pledges alone, we had to accept, like all politicians do in a rhetorical, bullshitting kind of way, that change was needed so we decided to ‘up our game’. We still used last years stuff because it was, well, still usable and I won’t sacrifice my recycling ethos for anyone. But we tweaked things up here and there. We added a little photograph of his face in the middle of the rosettes. We also made new posters featuring his bullet-pointed and rather radical 09′ manifesto and we inserted a little picture of his good self into the corner. We added his picture to the placards too. We were pleased. Hey, due to popular demand, we had to make more rosettes. Looking good folks.
Me laddie fully expected to win last year but was unsuccessful. This year again, he really believes it’s in the bag. And if his playground campaigning is anything to go by he may well be right. I was duly impressed when he relayed a conversation he’d had with a co-pupil. He wasn’t managing to drum up much support so he took it upon himself to do a bit of canvassing. He asked several of his buddies why they were voting for the other candidate. One girl simply shrugged. The discussion went something like this . ..
M’laddie: Why are you voting for Freddie? (Freddie’s not his real name but you know, child protection etc.)
Voter: I dunno
M’laddie: Well you need an actual reason
Voter: Cos he’s funny
M’laddie: What’s being funny got to do with being school councilor and making things better for the school? (As he was telling me, his hands were doing a serious, up-and-down gesture at this point. A good indication of his true political nature)
M’laddie: There’s no point in having a funny guy who doesn’t do anything else. Look at my manifesto. If you vote for me I’ll actually do stuff, not just act funny and silly all the time.
Voter: Shrug. Ok, I’ll vote for you.
M’laddie: Yeessss! Result!!!!
Me laddie is nine years old. Should I be worried folks?