Here’s a video of Tory MP John Bercow being characteristically charming.
Watch it, squirm at the man’s grotesque mix of prickliness, cockiness, chippiness, pent-up aggression – and eerie resemblance to that Seventies-style novelty glass bird filled with red liquid that dips back and forth violently when you put water underneath – and then rejoice at the fact that this Brownite stooge in Tory clothing may yet be booted out of parliament at the next General Election by UKIP leader Nigel Farage.
I know what exercises some people most about Bercow is his dismal showing in the recent MPs swine trough scandal. As the Telegraph reported, he:
“Flipped his second home from a house in his constituency to a £540,000 flat in London, which he claimed maximum second home allowances on for four years running.
“He failed to pay capital gains tax after buying and selling properties in both his constituency and in the Capital, and later agreed to hand over £6,500 to HM Revenue and Customs.”
But what bothers me personally far more is that though he sits in the truest of blue Tory constituencies, he seems to have not the remotest idea what it means to be a Conservative. Here is a man so loathed by his party – even the Blairite Cameroon fringe – that the only reason he got the Speakers job was through tactical voting. Few if any Tories voted for him. Almost everyone in Labour did because they knew how maddening it would be for Conservatives to have to put up with a Speaker they found even more noisome than the appalling Michael Martin.
(Helpful guide for any American readers: John Bercow is our Arlen Specter. Now do you see why we so loathe the man?)
To the voters in Bercow’s Buckinghamshire seat, I say: “Don’t vote on party lines. Vote for your principles.” I can’t imagine there’s a single Tory voter in Bucks, for example, who applauded his Blair-style “Britain is a young country” decision to ditch the speaker’s traditional tights and replace them with one of his dreary grey business suits. The office and its centuries-old traditions are much bigger than the man and it speaks volumes for Bercow’s elephant-skinned arrogance that he couldn’t recognise this.
I realise that a Tory majority of 13,325 will prove quite a job for the UKIP leader to overthrow. But face it Bucks Tories, on Europe, on immigration, on tax, on pretty much every key issue, UKIP are so much more your kind of party than the Conservatives. Go on now. Watch that video again. Do really want to see this man representing your seat? Well, do you?