Tag Archives: John Bercow

Never mind the newspapers; Bercow buries claims of anti-Semitism against Corbyn

John Bercow: He has never experienced anti-Semitism from any member of the Labour Party, including Jeremy Corbyn.

It should be no surprise that the false accusations of anti-Semitism against Jeremy Corbyn have risen again – like zombies – at the start of the general election campaign.

Newspapers like the far-right Jewish Chronicle are scaremongering that Jewish people in the UK are afraid of a Corbyn-led government. They would, wouldn’t they?

But people who know Mr Corbyn – and his history – are telling us the facts very clearly: there is nothing anti-Semitic about Jeremy Corbyn.

Ex-Commons Speaker John Bercow has made that clear in an interview with former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell, who would have loved to have some dirt on Mr Corbyn, as he remains a staunch Blairite.

As someone who has also been accused of anti-Semitism, but whose respect for Mr Bercow is clear in every mention of him on This Site, it comes as a great relief to This Writer that he has said this.

And it reflects badly on a certain enemy of This Site:

The clip also offered an opportunity to set the record straight on claims that Mr Corbyn – who voted against New Labour policies under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown hundreds of times – was voting with the Conservatives when he did so.

In fact, Conservatives very closely supported New Labour policies. They were both right-wing, neoliberal parties who followed similar policies. Many people forget, for example, that the Tories supported to the hilt the policies that tilted the UK into the global recession of 2008 and thereafter.

Mr Corbyn was not in the same camp and in fact he only voted alongside the Conservatives seven times:

https://twitter.com/BarryCrombie/status/1192556018057830402

The tactics of the anti-Corbyn lobby that claims to speak for UK Jews are absolutely vile – and the resurgence of accusations against him have provided an opportunity to examine them again.

For example – the (anti-Semitic in itself) claim that any Jew who shows support for Mr Corbyn isn’t really Jewish and must prove their Jewishness:

Ian Austin’s outburst against Mr Corbyn has attracted comment because of his own anti-Semitic behaviour:

In case you’re wondering why Michael Rosen was saying this, consider Mr Austin’s earlier abhorrent behaviour to Mr Rosen:

https://twitter.com/Normanjam67/status/1192731660229459968

And the accusations against Mr Corbyn are not cutting any ice with the UK public. The BBC’s Question Time featured a demonstration of this when a Jewish lady made it clear that – as far as she was concerned – the Jewish Chronicle‘s shrill claims (and those of the other Jewish-facing papers) are nonsense:

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Commons speaker denies Boris Johnson another attempt to get MPs to support his Brexit deal

Ruling: John Bercow.

Commons Speaker John Bercow has ruled that MPs will not debate a government motion to debate Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal again today (October 21) – because it was discussed only 48 hours previously.

Mr Bercow was referring to the “same question” procedures which hold that discussion of the same question may not occur twice in any Parliamentary session because it is “repetitive and disorderly to do so”.

He said he considered whether the dispatch of Mr Johnson’s letters to the European Council changed matters enough to make another debate allowable – and decided that, since the motion was tabled on Saturday afternoon, before those letters were sent, it did not.

As I write, he is taking points of order.

I’ll post a more detailed article later.

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WATCH: ‘Vile, unconscionable and despicable’ – MPs respond to targeting of Stella Creasy by anti-abortionists

Abuse:’ This poster was put up in Stella Creasy’s Walthamstow constituency in what is seen as an attempt to intimidate her.

An anti-abortion group that targeted pregnant Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy has been labelled “vile, unconscionable and despicable” by Commons speaker John Bercow as MPs vowed to help her take action.

Ms Creasy raised the issue after an organisation called the Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CBR) put a poster of her alongside a picture of what it claimed was “a 24-week-old aborted baby girl”, with the claim “Your MP is working hard … to make this a human right” and the address of a website established against the MP.

The abuse targeted at Ms Creasy follows the approval from MPs of her amendment to extend abortion rights to Northern Ireland – the only part of the UK where it is illegal. The vote passed by 332 to 99.

She has reported the matter to the Metropolitan Police – only to be rebuffed by officers who say this is a “free speech” issue.

A clearly-emotional Ms Creasy raised the issue with a point of order in the House of Commons, after Prime Minister’s Questions today (October 2).

I managed to capture most of the exchange with Speaker John Bercow on video (I happened to have a camera handy and grabbed it up as soon as I realised what was happening). Apologies for the shaky picture and possible poor sound quality – the camera was hand-held. You may hear voices over the top – they belong to This Writer and Mrs Mike:

The point of order prompted the appropriate Tory government minister to promise action.

Abortion is a sensitive and complicated issue, and I don’t propose to go over all the arguments here.

But I do believe that there are many possible reasons for a woman (or a couple) to consider abortion and if that option is available to them, it is not for anybody else to tell them what to do. It is a matter for their conscience and it should be a human right.

The action of the so-called charity (as you will have heard, it has been refused charity status in the UK) – against a woman who is herself pregnant – is as Mr Bercow described it: vile, unconscionable and despicable. I’m sure many readers could add a few choice words themselves.

It is the sort of behaviour that could affect the health of an unborn baby, contrary to that organisation’s stated aims. Do these people even care about that double-standard?

It has no place in UK society.

Our charities exist to campaign for measures that improve the quality of life – not to victimise people who have done nothing wrong (the fake charity Campaign Against Antisemitism should also take note of this).

The advertising company that hosted the offending posters has agreed to take them down.

Let us hope that the organisation behind it faces legal action (this behaviour is a criminal offence under the Public Order Act) and is chased out of the UK for good.

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Babyish Boris Johnson is having a tantrum – if he can’t have his Brexit he’ll try to cause chaos

Boris Johnson: He doesn’t like it when events conspire against him.

Here’s some more evidence that Boris Johnson is in hock to hedge fund bosses who’ve bet on a “no deal” Brexit.

It seems he’s now saying he’ll resign as prime minister – taking his entire cabinet with him – if the EU doesn’t give him the Brexit he wants.

He seems to think that this will make it impossible for Parliament to do anything – but it seems that, like everything else so far, he got that wrong.

Most significantly, it seems BoJob is hoping the UK will be unable to call on the EU for Brexit to be delayed, as required by the so-called “Benn Act” forbidding a “no deal” Brexit.

In fact, it seems Parliament will simply empower Speaker John Bercow to write the letter – the chairman of meetings in the House of Commons acting on the will of that chamber.

And Mr Johnson is facing a rebellion by civil servants, who may find themselves ordered to break the law if he follows this course. They would either resign or demand a public declaration that they were ordered into lawbreaking.

So it seems this plan is unlikely to placate any shadowy backers BoJob may (or may not) have.

As for what the threat to quit government means – it seems he believes Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn would be unable to form a government within the 14 days required by law and a general election would be called, to take place in December.

This implies that the Liberal Democrats, under Tory-supporting Jo Swinson, would not support Mr Corbyn as leader, despite the fact that failure to do so means the UK continues to edge towards a Brexit that she claims to oppose.

Now, why would the leader of the ‘Party of Remain’ want to do that?

Source: Boris Johnson ‘will collapse government’ if EU refuse new deal and force election – Mirror Online

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POLL: Is Commons Speaker John Bercow right to voice his own views on Brexit?

Speaking out: John Bercow at the Bingham Lecture. Is he right to make his opinions known?

John Bercow, the soon-to-retire Speaker of the House of Commons, is being criticised for voicing his opposition to Boris Johnson’s “no deal” Brexit.

Critics are saying he should be impartial and has no right to attack the prime minister and his policies.

Supporters say it is important for him to stand up for Parliamentary sovereignty.

Now he has said he may bend Parliamentary rules – in response to efforts by BoJob and his advisers to go around them.

And he has voiced support for the idea of a written UK constitution, to ensure that the kind of shenanigans we have seen from the Johnson administration (and the May ministry before it) cannot happen again:

John Bercow has threatened Boris Johnson that he will be prepared to rip up the parliamentary rulebook to stop any illegal attempt by the prime minister to take the UK out of the EU without a deal on 31 October.

In a direct warning to No 10, the Speaker of the House of Commons said he is prepared to allow “additional procedural creativity” if necessary to allow parliament to block Johnson from ignoring the law.

“If we come close to [Johnson ignoring the law], I would imagine parliament would want to cut off that possibility … Neither the limitations of the existing rulebook or ticking of the clock will stop it doing so,” he said, delivering the annual Bingham lecture in London. “If I have been remotely ambiguous so far, let me make myself crystal clear. The only form of Brexit that we have, whenever that might be, will be a Brexit that the House of Commons has explicitly endorsed.”

He also proposed a written constitution to stop “executive malpractice or fiat”, which could potentially have avoided the constitutional crisis that the UK has found itself in over Brexit.

Simple question: Do you think Mr Bercow is right to speak out? Or should he keep his mouth shut?

Source: John Bercow: I’ll stop Boris Johnson breaking the law on Brexit | Politics | The Guardian

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Commons Speaker announces retirement – depriving Tories of propaganda victory

John Bercow: The Speaker in action.

John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, has stopped the Conservative government from claiming a propaganda victory it desperately needs by announcing that he is to stand down at the next general election or on October 31 – whichever comes first.

This Site has reported Andrea Leadsom’s announcement that the Conservatives would stand a candidate against Mr Bercow at the next general election, on the grounds that he had undermined democracy by allowing Parliament to discuss – and pass – a backbench Bill ordering the government not to put the UK through a “no deal” Brexit.

Some might say that Mr Bercow’s announcement means the Tories have beaten him – but this is not true.

As he explained in his statement to the Commons, Mr Bercow has long intended to leave at the end of the Parliamentary session which began in 2017.

And by going through with this plan, he has deprived Ms Leadsom and her boss Boris Johnson of the chance to claim that they ousted him.

Here’s his full statement:

Colleagues, I would like to make a personal statement to the house. At the 2017 election I promised my wife and children that it would be my last. This is a pledge that I intend to keep. If the house votes tonight for an early general election, my tenure as Speaker and MP will end when this parliament ends.

If the house does not so vote, I have concluded that the least disruptive and most democratic course of action would be for me stand down at the close of business on Thursday, 31 October. Least disruptive because that date will fall shortly after the votes on the Queen’s speech expected on 21 and 22 October.

The week also after that may be quite lively and it would be best to have an experienced figure in the chair for that short period.

Most democratic because it will mean that a ballot is held when all members have some knowledge of the candidates. This is far preferable to a contest at the beginning of a parliament when new MPs will not be similarly informed and may find themselves vulnerable to undue institutional influence.

We would not want anyone to be whipped senseless, would we? Throughout my time as Speaker I have sought to increase the relative authority of this legislature for which I will make absolutely no apology to anyone, anywhere, at any time.

To deploy a perhaps dangerous phrase, I have also sought to be the backbencher’s backstop.

I could not do so without the support of a small but superb team in Speaker’s House, the wider house staff, my Buckingham constituents, and above all my wife, Sally, and our three children, Oliver, Freddy and Jemima. From the bottom of my heart, I thank them all profusely.

I could also not have served without the repeated support of this house and its members past and present. This is a wonderful place filled overwhelmingly by people who are motivated by their notion of the national interest by their perception of the public good. And by their duty, not as delegates, but as representatives, to do what they believe is right for our country.

We degrade this parliament at our peril. I have served as a member of parliament for 22 years, and for the last 10 as Speaker. This has been, let me put it explicitly, the greatest privilege and honour of my professional life for which I will be eternally grateful.

I wish my successor in the chair the very best fortune in standing up for the rights of honourable and right honourable members individually and for parliament institutionally as the Speaker of the House of Commons.

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#BackBercow campaign takes off as Tories bid to oust Commons Speaker at election

Adversaries: Andrea Leadsom and John Bercow.

Isn’t it hilarious that Tory Andrea Leadsom is accusing Commons Speaker John Bercow of breaking Parliamentary rules when her government has been doing worse than he could imagine?

And isn’t it ironic that, claiming to be standing up for democracy, they are happy to break an ancient democratic convention?

How hypocritical.

Ms Leadsom reckons Mr Bercow has committed a “flagrant abuse” of process by allowing Parliament to take control of Commons business and table a Bill to stop the government from shafting us all with a “no deal” Brexit.

But he – together with Opposition MPs – was well within his rights to use a recognised procedure against Boris Johnson’s underhand attempt to deny UK citizens their right to democratic representation by proroguing Parliament for five weeks, at a crucial point in the run-up to Brexit.

Here’s how the BBC is reporting the matter:

The Conservative Party plans to stand a candidate against Speaker John Bercow for his role in allowing MPs to take control of the Commons agenda.

Breaching convention, the party plans to oppose Mr Bercow in his Buckingham constituency at the next election.

Formerly a Tory, Mr Bercow gave up his party affiliation when he took on the impartial role.

As the highest authority in the House of Commons, the Speaker chairs MPs’ debates.

In order to be impartial, the Speaker resigns from their party, and – while they still stand in general elections – they are usually unopposed by the main parties, and they do not campaign on political issues.

This latest attempt to silence democracy – and impartiality, if Ms Leadsom plans to put a Tory yes-man in Mr Bercow’s place – has sparked a backlash on the social media, under the hashtag #BackBercow .

Source: Tories bid to depose Speaker Bercow after Commons revolt – BBC News

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‘Terrible collaboration’ speech: Johnson flashes his fascist credentials

Hitler comparison: It seems more and more people are coming to terrifying conclusions about Mr Johnson.

One of the 14 warning signs of fascism is the identification of enemies as a unifying cause.

It’s third on the list in this article, if you need to refresh your memory.

Now watch the first minute or so of Boris Johnson’s “People’s PMQs”:

“There’s a terrible kind of collaboration as it were going on between people who think they can block Brexit in Parliament and our European friends, and our European friends are not moving.

“We need our European friends to compromise and the more they think that there’s a chance that Brexit can be blocked in Parliament, the more adamant they are in sticking to their position.”

He was falsely claiming that his viewers – you and I – are on his side and MPs who want to prevent a “no deal” Brexit have teamed up with “our European friends” (as he calls them) against us.

That’s the identification of enemies as a unifying cause, right there.

One of the “people who think they can block Brexit in Parliament” – if it’s Mr Johnson’s “no-deal” Brexit – would be Philip Hammond.

He said, earlier, that BoJob was setting the “bar” for negotiations too high by demanding that the so-called Northern Irish border backstop be dropped from the UK’s withdrawal agreement with the EU.

He said it was “effectively a wrecking tactic and the people behind this know that that means there will be no-deal”.

Such a move would be “just as much of a betrayal as not leaving at all”.

The Mirror quoted a “government source” who claimed Mr Hammond had done “everything he could to block preparations for leaving and undermined negotiations” when Chancellor.

“We are leaving on October 31 and we will be ready to do so despite the former chancellor’s best efforts to the contrary.”

That’s the identification of enemies as a unifying cause.

One person who has yet to be identified as an enemy by the Johnson camp is Commons Speaker John Bercow – although how long that continues is a matter for speculation.

Mr Bercow has made it clear that he will resist efforts by BoJob to prorogue Parliament in order to ensure it is not sitting prior to Brexit – thus ensuring that the UK leaves with no deal.

He told the Edinburgh Festival fringe he “strongly” believes the Commons “must have its way”.

“If there is an attempt to circumvent, to bypass or – God forbid – to close down Parliament, that is anathema to me,” he said.

“I will fight with every breath in my body to stop that happening. We cannot have a situation in which parliament is shut down — we are a democratic society.”

So Mr Bercow is drawing lines too – between democracy and Boris Johnson.

I’m not saying BoJob is a fascist. But he’s showing a lot of the warning signs.

How many more will we see?

Source: Johnson accuses MPs and EU of ‘terrible collaboration’ over Brexit | Politics | The Guardian

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BBC ‘journalist’ harasses Bercow on the street over refusal to allow third ‘meaningless vote’ on Brexit

John Bercow: Politeness and restraint.

When I reported that Commons Speaker John Bercow had ruled out a third “meaningful vote” (three? They’d be more aptly described as “meaningless”) on Theresa May’s duff Brexit deal, I did not expect her to try to get around it by underhand means.

As she is determined not to change a single line of her appalling document, options included a “paving vote” to set aside the convention under which the same proposal could not be put to the vote twice in a single Parliamentary session, or proroguing Parliament – ending the current session and starting a new one to get around the issue.

And then there was the lowest tactic of all – pretending that Mr Bercow made his ruling in order to derail democracy (and halt Brexit), rather than as a matter of duty as the chairperson of the House of Commons, responsible for ensuring that its decisions comply with law and precedent.

The aspect of it that really astonishes This Writer is that the BBC – currently under investigation by Ofcom on the possibility that it has been failing in its duty of impartiality – seems to have led the attack on Mr Bercow’s credibility.

And the corporation got what it deserved. Consider this response to a BBC reporter’s on-street harassment of the Speaker on his way to work.

Mr Bercow responded with politeness and restraint. The BBC reporter’s questions were – well – as Tom Pride described them.

One more thing: Suppose Mrs May manages to get another vote on her deal, and it wins support from MPs. Will they be doing so because they honestly believe it is a good deal, having read the nearly-600-page document from cover to cover?

Or will they just be tired out and afraid that they’ll lose the support of an impatient public if they don’t?


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Bercow takes control: Parliament may NOT have third ‘meaningful vote’ on May’s Brexit deal

John Bercow: Laying out the law.

That’s that, then.

Theresa May will undoubtedly be furious as she has been desperate to get her specific Brexit deal passed by Parliament. Too bad that Parliamentary convention means that cannot happen without substantial change.

But shouldn’t she have known that it was impossible – that the rules don’t allow it?

Now she can’t have her deal.

And she only has a short period of time to sort out another.

She’s talked herself – and her government – into a corner. Does anyone seriously think she can talk her way out of it?

The House of Commons Speaker, John Bercow, has said the government cannot bring back the meaningful vote again to parliament unless there has been substantial change to the Brexit deal.

In a shock move likely to infuriate the prime minister, the Speaker said the House of Commons was “being repeatedly asked to pronounce” on the same question.

Quoting from the guide to parliamentary procedure, Erskine May, Bercow said that by convention, the question “may not be brought forward again during the same session” and that it was a “strong and longstanding convention” dating back to 1604.

“Decisions of the house matter. They have weight,” he said. “It is a necessary rule to ensure the sensible use of the house’s time and the proper respect for the decisions which it takes.”

Source: Brexit: John Bercow rules out third meaningful vote on same deal | Politics | The Guardian


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