So after what was about to go down in history as the longest point of order ever from Malcolm Rifkind, the house has spoken and despite a (reasonably) loud ‘no’: the ayes had it, and John Bercow was re-elected to the speakers chair.
I personally think this is the wrong decision, I didn’t like Nadine Dorries e-mail that made some statements that felt wrong, and didn’t really address any of the real issues of why Bercow is the wrong man, but hey. You simply can’t win them all; and we’ll have to live with Bercow all over again. Let’s hope he tones down the geography teacher act a little – it’s been stifling interesting debate and despite his protestations, I think it’s had the effect of quietening the backbenchers who in those moments of uproar would often be able to get in with a real blow at a minister who they might not always get the opportunity to address otherwise.
I do hope in his efforts to modernise he doesn’t cast off any more of the traditional elements of the speaker’s office. These are treasured parts of our national history: we just have to remember we’ve got a lot more history than most countries so our traditions seem ‘old-fashioned’ but it doesn’t stop nations younger than most of the buildings in whitehall keeping the traditions they were founded on even though it’s “the 21st century”: once history is lost, it’s lost forever – so please Mr Bercow: respect it.