I have very mixed feelings about John Bercow as Speaker of the House of Commons - he's quite forward-thinking in some ways, and it's obviously healthy to have someone in the role who is thoroughly loathed by David Cameron and most of the government front bench. But he does display a severe attitude problem sometimes, never more so than in this bizarre rant today directed at Liberal Democrat MP Greg Mulholland -
"Aw-dah, AW-DAH! The honourable gentleman will resume his seat. It's a DISCOURTESY to the House to be long-winded, especially when exhorted not to be. The honourable gentleman has got - AW-DAH! - don't argue the toss with the chair, Mr Mulholland, don't shake your head mate, I'm telling you what the position is, you were too long. Leave! That's fine! We can manage without you! Mr Peter Bone. AW-DAAAAAH! Mr Peter Bone. AW-DAAAAAH! Mr Mulholland, LEARN IT MAN, you were too long, and you NEED TO LEARN, and that's the end of it. Mr Peter Bone."
Hmmm. Heaven forbid that anyone should make that place seem less classy by clapping now and again. Bercow may feel that "we" can do without Mr Mulholland, but given that we live in a representative democracy in which everyone has just one MP, I'm not sure Mr Mulholland's constituents would agree with that sentiment. (Which, incidentally, is also the problem with the system of temporarily suspending MPs found guilty of wrongdoing - ultimately, that's a collective punishment against a whole constituency.)
I look forward to reading furious articles in the unionist press about Bercow addressing someone as "man" - that is, presumably, just as despicable a crime as Alex Salmond addressing Anna Soubry as "woman".