Bercow, Lord? Swinson, Lady? OMG!

After the exit poll predicted the Conservative triumph, ex Commons Speaker Bercow

appeared in a Sky News studio as a presenter for the night with Nigel Farage, viewers ridiculed him for looking glum.

Former Conservative deputy chairman Lord Ashcroft tweeted “John Bercow doesn’t look a happy bunny on Sky News”. Another user Peter Darwin said “He is about to cry” and Jimmy B said “Can almost see John Bercow crying on Sky News. It’s f***ing delicious”

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage also poked fun at the former Commons speaker because he has not been offered a peerage. Mr Farage had claimed during the election campaign that the Conservatives had offered him and other senior Brexit Party figures peerages in order to stand aside, something the Tories deny.

In a light-hearted exchange on Sky News, Bercow, a presenter for the night on the channel, asked if Mr Farage could rule out taking a seat [bed, if the 4 sleepers above are anything to go by!] in the House of Lords after he railed against the system of patronage.

Bercow then said “Nigel, let me tease you, you spoke with seamless and undiluted eloquence in opposition to the use of patronage. And you referenced the House of Lords. Therefore I think we can take it from you at 02.12 in the morning if you are offered a peerage you will, in fact, turn it down, as a matter of absolute and unbending Fargian principle”.

Mr Farage said ‘Well that’s the difference John, isn’t it, they won’t even offer you one.’ Bercow laughed and said ‘That’s true’ with Mr Farage adding ‘And they keep trying to buy me off with one and I keep telling them I’m not for sale’.

The Brexit Party leader was speaking about reforming British politics, and said ‘I think the House of Lords, the ability of governments these days to patronage in terms of peerages is outrageous, outdated and wrong and that needs to change.’

Another writer, Littlejohn in the Daily Mail

 “Thought you’d seen the last of the insufferably irritating Jo Swinson? Think again. Plans are afoot to send her to the Lords. Despite leading her party to a crushing General Election defeat, losing her own seat in the process, she’s in line for a peerage.

Ed Davey, sorry ‘Sir’ Ed the ‘interim co-leader’ of what’s left of the Lib Dems at Westminster following Swinson’s Stop Brexit humiliation, said ‘The whole party is deeply upset and disappointed. Jo was a friend and a colleague and I want her back in Parliament as soon as possible. She has so much to offer British politics and our thoughts are with her and her family, but we know that she has a bright future. We thank her for what she did and I hope we can ensure that what she argued for and her legacy [what?] on the Brexit issue can continue because Liberal Democrats will continue to oppose Brexit in Parliament’.

It’s difficult to know where to start when confronted with a statement brimming with such sanctimonious lack of self-awareness. Let’s be charitable. I’m sure they are disappointed that Swinson lost her seat, along with those of ten other Lib Dem MPs. Oh dear, how sad, never mind.

But it’s worth remembering that most of those turfed out weren’t even Lib Dems until fairly recently. They were a noxious mixture of Tory turncoats and Labour defectors. ‘I want her back in Parliament as soon as possible’ says Mister Ed. Who the hell does he think he is? And what did he do to deserve a K? ‘Our thoughts are with her and her family.’ That’s the kind of routine platitude trotted out after every murder, fatal car crash and terrorist atrocity.

She lost an election, not her life, for heaven’s sake. Anyway, it isn’t as if she’s a stranger to defeat. Swinson was beaten by the SNP in 2015, winning East Dunbartonshire back two years later. Losing elections is an occupational hazard for politicians, just as imprisonment was for Norman Stanley Fletcher. Plus, she was only Lib Dem leader for 144 days. We’re not talking Herbert Asquith here, who led the Liberals for 18 years , eight of them as Prime Minister, and created the Welfare State.

So it’s probably fair to say that Earl Asquith just about earned his peerage. Could anyone say the same for Violet Elizabeth Swinson? The giveaway is in the last part of Davey’s glowing lament ‘I hope that we can ensure that what she argued for and her legacy on the Brexit issue can continue because Liberal Democrats will continue to oppose Brexit in Parliament’.

Fat lot of good it’s going to do them. There are only 11 Lib Dems still standing. That’s her legacy. Labour is in utter disarray. The Tories have an 80-seat majority. Brexit is going to happen. Even that shameless old federast Heseltine admits the game is up.

Maybe die-hard Remainers still delude themselves that they can frustrate Brexit in the Lords, where the Lib Dems already have 92 peers, a number out of all proportion to their support in the country. Make that 93 if and when Baroness Swinson joins their ranks. If she is elevated to the Upper House it will be yet another anti-democratic outrage.

This is the woman who promised unilaterally to abort the result of the 2016 referendum, the biggest single vote for anything in British history. In so doing, she demonstrated her contempt not just for the 17.4 million people who voted Leave but for the entire concept of democratic consent and fair play. Not only that, but in her graceless speech following her defeat in East Dunbartonshire, she made it clear that she thinks the result of the election was a triumph for racism and said she was ‘filled with dread’ about the future of our country.

It’s difficult to think of anyone less suitable to be sent to the Lords. Mind you, this is the woman who in a fit of hubris insisted hilariously she was going to be our next Prime Minister. What also sticks in the craw is the intergalactic sense of entitlement. Why should failed politicians qualify for a tax-free £313-a-day sinecure when they lose their seats? Let alone be allowed to play a part in shaping legislation?

The whole system stinks and is in desperate need of reform. Fortunately, Boris Johnson is reported to be planning a major constitutional overhaul, not just of the Lords but also finally getting round to cutting the number of MPs and equalising the size of constituencies.

He can make a start by deciding against a dissolution honours list.

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