Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Quis custodiet custodes IPSAe?

Well, if Bercow gets his way, prospective members of the board of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority - including those currently sitting - must be vetted and approved by his own pet panel.
Four members of the watchdog which polices MPs' expenses are to stand down after a row with Commons speaker John Bercow.
Mr Bercow decided not to back the automatic re-appointment of the four IPSA board members when their contracts end in January.
Naturally this isn't going down at all well in some circles, but an interesting defence of Bercow has appeared at Conservative Home, where Paul Goodman has been mulling things over thanks to a personal interest in the story:
'I was approached recently to apply for a place on the IPSA Board, and saw on reading the conditions that the Speaker would play a part in the selection process.
I thought that it was unlikely that I would be successful if I applied, and decided that since I've no confidence in the Speaker it would be wrong to do so in any event.'
Come on, Paul - surely a lack of confidence in the Speaker is exactly why you should apply!

Someone's got to keep an eye on him; if he's on the level, you have nothing to fear and, if he really is after placemen, it won't be exposed unless someone objective gets involved in the process.

And, more importantly, if a lack of confidence in Bercow acts as a complete deterrent to would-be applicants, what sort of people will we be left with?

Meanwhile,  remember this from Dizzy Thinks?
'Frankly, even a very shiny arse with neon lights on it saying "I'm a shiny arse" would find it hard to make more of an arse of itself on Twitter than Sally Bercow has in recent months.'
More than two years on and she's still at it,  not to mention that photo, and those TV appearances. Now, I wouldn't normally be so insensitive as to bring up the indiscretions of a man's wife in relation to his professional career, but John Bercow has chosen to share bed and board with this woman of his own free will (at least I assume so).

And if that's any indication of his judgement of character, perhaps we should look very carefully indeed at his choice of appointees.


  1. I trust Bercow as far as I could throw him.

    Actually that might be quite far, but you get the point.

  2. AKH, if it came to measuring exactly how far you could throw John Bercow, I suspect you'd have to take your place in a substantial queue.

    (Remembering Cameron's expression during the Speaker's Jubilee speech to the Queen, he'd certainly be standing in line with the rest... )

  3. For me, it is more a case of a lack of confidence in his wife.

  4. I don't think you're the only one, JH!

    Clearly love is blind...