Why are we not standing against Bercow?
I have to confess my first reaction was that we were right not to follow Nigel Farage’s lead and challenge John Bercow. However, a snippet of Farage on BBC News turned my stomach and changed my mind; we should defy the convention and stand against Bercow and indeed Farage who is anything but the ‘reform’ candidate when it comes to expenses.
Mark Littlewood seems to edge towards the same conclusion as me but for different reasons. First reason is simple; why shouldn’t we since Clegg was prepared to defy convention and call for Michael Martin’s resignation? Second is more focused around Farage and Bercow; pressed about his expenses and the vast amounts he has claimed, Farage looked far from convincing against a BBC interviewer. How this man can call himself a credible candidate for change and then claim £2 million in expenses himself is beyond me. Especially, as Caroline Lucas famously pointed out on Question Time, Farage doesn’t even actually do the job he is elected to do because he doesn’t believe in the European Union.
Therefore letting this man have a free run at Bercow would be wrong in my eyes. Costigan Quist has a post rightly saying that Farage is ‘milking the system’. Furthermore, as Mark points out;
“From what I can discern of UKIP’s platform, they are not – to put it mildly – enthusiasts for domestic constitutional reform.”
I rather suspect Farage has, behind the scenes, be given a nod and a wink by some Conservatives who have made it plain they would love to see the back of Bercow. Buckingham maybe ‘true blue’ but that is by no means a guarantee of safety for Bercow. However, this is not our concern; what is concerning is a long trail of times where we have failed to articulate our own independent politics and collapse into supporting whatever looks like a more attractive protest option; right now I am thinking of the David Davis affair and also Doncaster where we folded into supporting an Independent in a lame bid to stop the English Democrats. No credible justification exists for us not taking the plunge and standing against Bercow…