When John Bercow was first elected as Speaker, I suggested that there were a few things he should do straight away. The main things I suggested were make Brown answer the questions properly, stop all the barracking and heckling during debates and stop ministers announcing policies outside the Commons.
Wednesday, 8 July 2009
He doesn't seem to have really tried very hard or at all on these big things yet but he is taking some small steps in the right direction. According to the Sunday Telegraph he is proposing that MPs should refer to each other by their proper names. This might not sound very important and I can hear the chorus of "aren't there more important things to worry about?" now but I think this is a good move.
The fact that MPs refer to each other in the chamber in the current arcane fashion is just yet another way in which MPs are seen as distant from ordinary people. I think calling each other by their proper names is a necessary and long overdue change.
I hope that Mr Bercow is starting small but will progress to deal with the more important issues as he grows in stature and confidence in his new role.