Tag Archives: Boothroyd

This former Commons speaker can still put a prime minister firmly in his place

This clip speaks for itself.

Former Commons Speaker Lady (Betty Boothroyd), speaking in today’s (October 19) Lords debate on how badly Boris Johnson has cocked up the UK’s departure from the European Union, said the following:

“Never in my Parliamentary experience have I witnessed such a collapse in the people’s trust.”

That is a warning.

Johnson will be too stupid – or too selfish – to take it.

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‘Zombie’ Parliament has nothing to do because of Cameron’s self-importance

Flinging around the bling: Someone should have told David Cameron that he shouldn't surround himself with gold when he's rubbing the proles' noses in unlimited austerity. The horse impression may also have been ill-judged.

Opulence in the midst of austerity: David Cameron doesn’t care about the suffering his government has caused – he’s been too busy enjoying the perks of wealth and power (also pictured: someone who recently had to quit her job chairing the inquiry into historical child sex abuse because of an unfortunate association with a – different – Tory minister. Still, it isn’t all bad, is it?) with his friends.

The cat’s out of the bag – tying Parliament to a fixed term of five years was an “irresponsible” act that has “diminished Parliament in the eyes of the public.

That’s the verdict of former House of Commons Speaker Baroness Boothroyd (who is neither the ‘cat’ nor the ‘bag’ mentioned in the introductory paragraph, thank you very much).

Research has shown that MPs sat for just 44 per cent of weekdays over the past year, and only 11 new bills have been introduced in this Parliamentary session – the second lowest in recent history.

Our MPs are working the equivalent of zero-hours contracts – but being paid almost three times as much as most people in full-time employment. Nice work if you can get it!

The revelation that Parliamentary business on Monday was finished after just three hours has led to revived accusations that the Coalition is now running a ‘zombie’ Parliament – just ticking over until the election, while doing nothing about the serious issues of our times.

Baroness Boothroyd said this time-wasting was “an insult to the Parliamentary system” – and she’s right.

We should all know where to lay the blame, too: David Cameron’s puffed-up sense of self-importance, coupled (disconcertingly) with his insecurity.

After he conned his way into Number 10, Cameron knew his position was precarious, so he set about ensuring that he would have the time he felt he needed to inflict on the nation the damage he intended for (among others) the NHS, the welfare state, the economy and the justice system.

That’s why he made sure that his government could only be removed with a confidence vote that would have to be supported by a large proportion of his own Conservative MPs. This would never happen because Tories love power.

Previously, a confidence vote only needed to be won by more than half the MPs in the House of Commons. Cameron changed this because more than half the MPs in the Commons belong to other parties.

That guaranteed his security, but we should also consider his sense of self-importance. Cameron didn’t care if his government ran out of work before the end – he was determined to be Prime Minister for the maximum amount of time possible.

That’s why we have been kept waiting for an election. He knows he won’t win but he’s determined to sit in Downing Street, crossing off the days on his calendar, for just as long as he possibly can.

He doesn’t care if this means a massive increase in the suffering caused by his policies.

He just wants to guarantee his own place in history.

In fact, we all know that Cameron’s place in history is guaranteed already. His place in history is already assured:

“David Cameron: Worst-ever British Prime Minister.”

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Expenses row ‘devastated’ Miller – so what? Miller devastated the disabled

140405maria-miller

According to the BBC, Maria Miller reckons she is “‘devastated’ that she has let her constituents down”.

Oh really?

Is that why her apology to Parliament – which was for behaving badly towards the inquiry into her fraudulent expenses claims, not for making the claims themselves – was so short and contemptuous? She trying to cope with the shame of letting everybody down?

I should bleedin’ cocoa.

Miller should try to bear in mind that we weren’t all born yesterday and most of us have a decent IQ; we don’t have time for these flimsy efforts at self-justification.

She committed a crime.

Let’s remember as well that this is a woman who, as minister for the disabled, co-presided over a benefit assessment system that has led to thousands upon thousands of deaths: the hated Work Capability Assessment.

Shall we list the devastation caused by that little policy?

Well, too bad. We can’t because the government is too lily-livered and cowardly to release the figures. There is no more obvious way of telling the public that these people are trying to hide serious – by which I mean grave – crimes.

So Miller can take her talk of “devastation” and blow it out her ear.

The BBC report adds that David Cameron, Britain’s weakest Prime Minister, has continued to support his culture secretary. Cynics have said this is because she is both female and state-educated, and he needs examples of both in his primarily male, privately-educated and extremely, obscenely rich, Cabinet.

It has also been suggested that she is extremely loyal to Cameron and, for a weak leader, this must be handy too.

The Beeb also says former Commons Speaker Baroness Boothroyd has claimed Miller should resign as a matter of “honour”. Fat chance.

There’s no honour amongst thieves.

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