I am a floating voter in today’s election of a new Speaker. I just got back from doing BBC Breakfast talking about same. I am certain I want someone who understands the game is up – someone who can walk the establishment into the light of the modern era. I want an end to stupid traditions from the absurdity of the new Speaker having to be dragged to the Chair – sheer pantomime -to the use of arcane forms of address in the Chamber. I want an end to partisan speakership. I want someone who knows that the only way to save Parliament is to break the chains that bind us.
The interviewer this morning said to me that I was a reformer so why hadn’t I put myself forward given I had signed the old Speaker’s death warrant. Well – outside of the fact I would almost certainly fall asleep in the Chair – I only entered in 2005 and you need to command respect across the House (and that takes a little longer) and I am a campaigning and doing MP – the real problem with a reformer per se is that it will take a traditionalist who has seen the light and understands what needs to be done to take that establishment body forward. Anyway – the Norman Bakers of this world who really could take the agenda forward – didn’t put themselves in the frame.
So – I will listen to the hustings and see what each candidate offers. I couldn’t give a fig which party they come from – as the person who gets my vote will genuinely have to put partisanship behind. And then I will give my vote to the person who persuades me that they really understand what has happened and the game is up, the gentlemen’s club is no longer – and it’s time for change. Yes we can!