Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Monday, 22 June 2009

I am in the "Anyone But Margaret Beckett" lobby

There are a number of other bloggers (e.g. Bernard Salmon, Stephen Glenn and Caron Lindsay as well as others on this Lib Dem Voice thread) who have pointed out that Margaret Beckett, were she to be elected Speaker of the House of Commons today would be the worst of all worlds. She is an establishment figure who is far too closely associated with the government and would do nowhere near enough to refom parliament.

MPs today have a once in a political generation to do the right thing and elect somebody who will truly reform the House. Margaret Beckett is not that person and if they choose her, they will be sending a very clear signal to the electorate that despite all the words about "change" and "reform", they intend to do diddly squat.

I am willing to go with Douglas Carswell's choice of Richard Shepherd as a reforming Speaker although I fear he will not make it through the rounds.

1 comment:

Cardinal Richelieu's mole said...

A new Speaker cannot right the ills of Parliament, although someone good might help align efforts to do so.

There seems to be a view at large that the election is for a super Speaker, with extra-constitutional powers who is going to be distinct from the servant of the House that the role has been hitherto (when properly performed). This is nonsense.

Beckett I would not favour, largely because she has not hitherto shown herself to be outstanding in support of the House and backbenchers - although she has perhaps not had much opportunity and she, like Selwyn Lloyd, has served at high levels in Government and so knows how things work from that perspective which may be helpful. She might be highly unsuitable if she is the Government front bench choice but it is not clear she is.

The sad truth is though that the House could do worse than M. Beckett today!