John Bercow’s anti-Catholic past
Good grief, no.
But Nadine Dorries MP believes John Bercow to be a closet Socialist (well, not so much closet as cupboard), and she discloses that she ‘will be studying the procedure, to call a Speaker re-election following a general election, very carefully; and will have that procedure engrained on my heart ready to go when the Conservative party take power.’
Engrained on her heart?
One wonders what Mr Bercow has done to merit such hatred and loathing.
Guido Fawkes has discovered (or, more likely, been sent by a 'stop Bercow' co-conspirator) this photograph dating from the late 80’s which purports to show John Bercow addressing the Glasgow Rangers Supporters Club. There is apparently the Rangers / red hand Ulster Defence Association poster on the wall behind him. It is reported that he heartily led the signing of some traditional Rangers songs, the lyrics of which Cranmer could not possibly reproduce here, not least because he has no means of corroborating their authenticity.
Cranmer had no idea that Mr Bercow was such a hot Prod in his past. Indeed, His Grace wonders how Mr Bercow has managed to lie so low and avoid the ‘bigotry’ radar of those very clever investigative journalists whose sole purpose in life is to expose anti-Catholic conspiracies and root out bigotry from under every cornflake. There was a time when a little residual anti-Catholicism was what made the English English. Certainly, through the Whig-Tory conflagrations of yesteryear, it forged the identity of the modern Conservative Party. But John Bercow appears to have rather more in his closet than is acceptable to the postmodern party: it would be no small irony if Michael Martin, Parliament’s first Roman Catholic Speaker since the Reformation, were to be replaced by a Sash-singing sectarian.
The Scottish Daily Record is already on to the case.
More 'stop Brecow' smearing?
Cranmer doubts the Daily Record is in cahoots with Mrs Dorries, who is even less likely to be conspiring with Mr Fawkes, who is even less likely to be part of a ‘Tory plot’ to ‘stop Bercow’. As with all such operations, it is not so much collusion and carefully-laid strategy as the coinciding of disparate and independent efforts to thwart the possibility.
The newspaper reveals that Mr Fawkes’ photograph dates back to a meeting of the ‘ultra-right Federation of Conservative Students’. This, of course, is unforgivable. One could overlook an address to the ultra-left Federation of Socialists Students, especially if Mr Bercow had also been singing anti-Protestant songs in a Celtic club. Such a revelation would do his quest to be speaker no harm at all. But knowing the words to ‘The Sash’ and singing about the IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands are beyond the pale.
And so John Bercow has been replaced by Labour's Margaret Beckett as favourite to be elected as Speaker. The fact that he has repented of his Protestant past and turned his back on his ultra-Right heritage do not appear to be helping his campaign.
Perhaps if he were to indicate his intention to follow Mr Blair across the Tiber, and ‘do God’ in the Roman fashion a little more convincingly and infinitely more contritely, he may win back a few votes on Monday. How else may one overcome ‘sectarian shame’?