The Blog of
Nadine Dorries
Will the Queen be next?
Posted Monday, 18 May 2009 at 11:36



I'm afraid that I really don't support the motion to remove the Speaker.

I've said before that the Speaker's position and authority should be un-challenged. Over hundreds of years we have had good and bad Speakers, nice and nasty, competent and useless.

It is the only position, along with that of the Monarch, which I believe should remain un-challenged in order to carry the authority needed to execute the role with dignity whilst commanding respect.

It has been over 300 years since a Speaker was last challenged.

The speaker's chair holds the line in Parliament. We MPs dare not defy a speaker's ruling: that may all change now. The Speaker holds us in check, not always an easy task.

Speaker Martin, on behalf of all Speakers to come after him, must defy this motion and fight to retain the chair, whilst treading the fine line of deciding when would be the best time for him to go, and letting the House be aware.

If this motion succeeds where will it stop?

Will there ever again be any respect for tradition and heritage? For the procedures enshrined in stone, brought about by Cromwell and abided by since?

Will the Queen be next?

Geoff said:
Responded: Monday, 18 May 2009
Let's hope so, because although Brenda has done a brilliant job I tell you know that complete hippy knob Charlie will not last long as King before a call for a republic arises. Tradition and history is a good thing except where it holds back progress. So in this instance you are wrong. The whole historical validity and honour of the Parliament of the UK is in taters, brought their by you the dishonourable members. We need root, branch and trunk reforms of our democratic processes now.
mark said:
Responded: Monday, 18 May 2009
No position within parliament should remain unchallengable in extreme circumstances such as these. I'm not one for tradition or history when it is clear that radical reform is necessary, both to restore public trust which has eroded over the years to its present state, and to allow a healthy parliament to be born from the stench that surrounds at this time. The queen is an exception, and must be protected as an institution.
Joe said:
Responded: Monday, 18 May 2009
You ask: "Will the Queen be next?" She will if we are serious about maintaining the "tradition and heritage" of Cromwell, who signed the death warrant of the monarch of his times. It's no less perverse than holding up Britain's first republican head of state as the saviour of monarchical tradition to argue that keeping someone "useless" as Speaker will somehow preserve the dignity of the role. Is this really the depth of knowledge and quality of thought that we get for £64,000 plus expenses?
David said:
Responded: Monday, 18 May 2009
"I've said before that the Speaker's position and authority should be un-challenged. Over hundreds of years we have had good and bad Speakers, nice and nasty, competent and useless." So we shouldn't hold someone accountable for their own uselesness? This is just silly, a class argument of 'thats the way its always been, thats the way it always should be'. But then again, what other reason could one give to support the monarchy?
Andrew said:
Responded: Monday, 18 May 2009
When King Edward VIII turned out to be utterly useless in 1936 he was obliged to abdicate. | I see the deposing of Speaker Martin as entirely within that fine constitutional tradition.
Richard said:
Responded: Monday, 18 May 2009
There is a difference between attacking the institution itself and attacking the occupant. Speaker Martin had misused and abused his position, and should be removed. He should have made clear some time ago his intention to retire at the end of this Parliament, by which time he would have served the two terms which is the convention for modern Speakers. Instead, he has given every indication that he wishes to remain indefinitely, enjoying the perks and privileges of his Office. I don't see how this threatens the Queen's position at all (it is curious that you have cited the regicide thug Cromwell in her defence). It is worth noting that as recently as 1936 the removal of a particular king was forced to save the institution of Monarchy. The same principle would apply to the removal of Speaker Martin: sometimes it can do more damage to the institution for the occupant to remain. I share your love of tradition Nadine, but I am not sure about your reasoning on this issue.
James said:
Responded: Monday, 18 May 2009
It's clear from today's reports that the Speaker and his office have given the nod to corruption in Parliament, such as allowing MPs to claim refunds of interest on non-existent mortgage payments. That you would still advocate blind obedience to the Speaker despite this, purely in the name of tradition, is astonishing. What other forms of corruption do you believe are justified by tradition? Please give examples.
Anonymous said:
Responded: Monday, 18 May 2009
I’m afraid someone doesn’t know their history. As Speaker Lenthall famously said to Charles I in 1642, "I have neither eyes to see nor tongue to speak in this place but as the House is pleased to direct me, whose servant I am here." That's what he is - a servant. He occupies no formal role in the constitution. The attempts to remove the woeful present Speaker are not an attack on the institution of the Speaker and they can’t be compared to attacks on the monarchy. Martin tried to cover up this scandal. That’s reason enough. If he doesn’t become toast soon then the rest of you MPs will be toast instead.
Steve said:
Responded: Monday, 18 May 2009
Sorry Nadine - I know that most MP's seem fearful of criticising the Speaker and this fear has enabled a man with none of the qualities required to do this important job to remain in place for far too long. Desperate diseases require desperate remedies and the resignation/sacking/removal of the current Speaker is the first step required to restore Parliament's reputation. You wouldn't want a poor doctor to continue in practice or a poor judge to remain on the bench. Why should the historic role of Speaker be any different?
Mike H said:
Responded: Monday, 18 May 2009
Was that you back in the house for the Speaker's announcement at 3.30? ...Maybe it was someone else in 'your' seat. That spectacle was embarrassing to watch, frankly. I'm all for a bit of tradition in the house, but I disagree with you on this matter. Speaker Martin has been at the centre of the opposition to the publication of MPs' expenses. The Speaker (the person holding the role, not the position itself) needs the respect and support of the majority of MPs from all sides of the house. He really doesn't seem to have that support any longer. In the public's eyes he's inextricably tied into this messy expenses issue. It would be better if he stepped down as soon as possible. Having said that, I felt sorry for the guy when MP after MP bluntly told him to go.
Ron said:
Responded: Monday, 18 May 2009
NOBODY should be unchallenged. Remember Nixon was the most powerful man in the 'free' world, but got caught-out. And booted out.
Richie said:
Responded: Monday, 18 May 2009
What Cromwell set in stone was the idea of a free republic, run for the benefit of the nation, not for the gratification of the aristos or the political class. That's why he threw out the Rump Parliament, presumably including the Speaker, for their venality and corruption. This can't go on and if mps, with some honourable exceptions,don't know that, then they should shiver for their futures in the next general election. The Speaker's statement today was a disgrace given the state of things. he has to go because he is the major obstacle to change in the house. Oliver would have booted him out. ...-
ManicBeancounter said:
Responded: Tuesday, 19 May 2009
I believe Nadine that you are wrong. As an MP you should protect the role of Speaker through thick and thin. However, the particular person in that role is not up to the job. In the past fellow MPs would have had a quiet word and persuaded the speaker to step aside for the sake of the country. Such advice has fallen on death ears. Resigning in not part of the current culture. So the institution of Speaker is weakened just when, in a time of crisis, it needs to be strong. Micheal Martin must go, to be replaced by a figure reassert the role. If not parliament will be weakened.
nick said:
Responded: Tuesday, 19 May 2009
Remember it is also tradition that Labour and the Conservatives alternate who will provide the Speaker. Gorbals Mick should on that account never have stood. He was the first to brake tradition, you must now carry on his 'fine' example!
John Ward said:
Responded: Tuesday, 19 May 2009
I am reminded of Delenn breaking the Minbari Grey Council in Babylon 5 — the (well-deserved) award-winning episode "Severed Dreams". Tradition is fine as a reminder of from whence we have come and why, and how we should generally behave; but if has become an obstruction to doing what we all know is right, then it has to go — even if only as a once-off.
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Nadine Dorries MP
House of Commons
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