Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Time's Up


With apologies to 'OfBlog' for posting on national politics, but today's resignation of The Speaker is undoubtedly a momentous development in British politics. His terse statement, saying only that he was standing down on 21st June and 'that is all I have to say on the matter' was a huge contrast to the resignation of his predecessor, Betty Boothroyd. Whereas Michael Martin's demise was widely predicted and demanded, and the news leaked hours ago, Madam Speaker took the whole House by surprise in 2000 with her statement that she would be stepping down. She gave an emotional farewell, which was met with genuine sadness from across the House. Seeing the glum faces before her, she looked up from her notes to declare 'Be happy for me!' and was given a huge round of applause- the rare tribute given only on such unanimous occasions. Today, the silence spoke volumes for the miserable state of morale at Westminster and the shattered trust in our politics. This isn't a happy occasion, and it won't be the end of the current crisis, but as a politician and as a voter, I hope the new Speaker will be able to make a fresh start and clean up this mess.

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