Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Ken Clarke Wants to be Speaker

There's gossip that Ken Clarke is agitating to be the next Speaker of the House of Commons. He'd walk it. Wouldn't he?

44 comments:

pr roger j clementine iii cbe said...

His constituents will be up in arms

Yours in nobility

The Prof

trevorsden said...

Why should his constituents be up in arms - he stays as MP.

I suppose Selwyn Lloyd broke the taboo about ex cabinet ministers becoming speaker.

But is it really the done thing to lobby?

DanielClarke said...

Well he can actually speak, so in that sense he would be an improvement on the current Speaker lol.

pr r j clementine iii cbe said...

His constituents will be up in arms because, and bear in mind I should know this as I'm not one of them, a recent survery done in the constituency in question suggested that 45% of respondents would put 1 arm up should their MP be elected speaker and 64% would put both arms up.

This is compared to the just 23% who were up in arms when he was Chancellor.

Arm raising . . .what good constituents do.

Yours in ignobility

The Prof

Liam said...

It's a pity that Gordon's fear of another Scottish by-election is stopping Michael Martin from stepping down with decency.

Ken Clarke would also, of course, bring back the tradition of Speakers coming from both sides of the house.

But - I don't want to sound cruel - would he fit in the chair?

salmondnet said...

If it gets him out of an active role in the Tory party I'm all for it. One europhiliac fewer.

BrianSJ said...

What an absolutely lovely idea. It might even signal the start of some restoration of dignity and competence to the mother of parliaments.

Anonymous said...

Surely it's a bit unlikely that a former Chancellor and serial party leadership contender could be go for an impartial position?

Anonymous said...

I like Ken he's done some daft things, the Sheehy enquiry into the Police being the best example, but he's clever, funny, doesn't require an army of advisors and comes across well. The Anti-Europeans will be having kittens. Will he be allowed to drink and smoke while presiding over the "not rights" ?
freedom to prosper

Anonymous said...

I believe Ken Clarke will lead the Tories to victory at the next general election. Cameron will be deposed because of his inability to beat Brown over the credit chaos.

There will be a meeting of the 1922 Committee in November and the die will be cast.

One candidate will emerge. The Rt. Hon Kenneth Clarke QC. PC. MP.

Believe me.There is great anger within the tory ranks.

Anonymous said...

Kin Brill I just hope he kicks the PC zealots into touch by sitting in his chair with a glass of Scotch (or Irish) by his side.

John said...

Noooo! I really want Alan Haselhurst to be speaker, he's fantastic and I don't care if he intends to resign at the next election.
Otherwise I will settle for someone in a wig.

John Pickworth said...

But surely its Labour's turn to appoint one of their own as Speaker?

Just because Labour stole the Conservative's turn doesn't mean we should play the same game and steal their's?

I jest of course ;)

I think Ken would make a great Speaker.

Anonymous said...

Not a hope

trevorsden said...

what-oh 'Anon 9.44'

"Cameron will be deposed because of his inability to beat Brown over the credit chaos." --- Brave effort

Well I have just noticed that Darling was able to attend both the PMQs and the Euro 'summit'.

Funny that - Brown had a chance to defend his record on unemployment in the House but chose to deliberately dodge poor useless Cameron and arrive early for a photo shoot in Brussels.

Thats the Brussels where Brown says, to paraphrase Napoleon, 'the English are to become a nation of loft insulators'

Tom FD said...

It's mainly so tantalising because just about anyone would be a better Speaker than Gorbals. Harriet Harman would be a better Speaker.

Anonymous said...

Cant have Clark as speaker of the Scottish Parliament Sooth!, hes English!.

You've got to have another communist Jock!.

As for Broon skipping PMQ's, you can bet that was planned well in advance by the proven coward.

Anonymous said...

I'd quite like to see that actually. I think he'd be quite good!

Anonymous said...

"I believe Ken Clarke will lead the Tories to victory at the next general election. Cameron will be deposed because of his inability to beat Brown over the credit chaos..." etc

Where can I buy some of what you're smoking?

Dave B said...

I remember being stunningly disappointed by Sir George Young's appearance on Mr Oborne's Dispatches programme about the 'Political Class'.

If Sir George is the other option, I say 'Go Clarke!'

Anonymous said...

I don't know about Ken walking it, but he could probably waddle it.

Anonymous said...

If the furniture is to be moved around, move Osborne to Party Chairman and Clarke to Shadow Chancellor.

Farmer said...

I do not think this would be a good idea. Needs to be someone respected by all sides.

Ken has been good on the TV of late on the credit crisis issue - but he woud be regarded as being too partisan.

Perhaps someone like Frank Field - not a Government insider and a proper Parliamentarian. Problem is he is Labour and we woudl have had 3 Labour speakers in a row.

Lord Tonypandy once came to speak at my school - he was a man who had integrity written through him like a stick of rock. Sir Alan Haselhurst seems seems simiar to him and he has been a good Deputy Speaker and might be a good choice. Knows the job, and a Conservative so would restore the alternating party system of picking the speaker. Popular, competent and beyond reproach.

Anonymous said...

On the subject of Ken Clarke, now that is how a proper chancellor is supposed to be.

Dave has got to do something about Osborne. He is the weakest Link.

Take his stupid fuel tax idea for example, if he had his way we would not be seeing the benefits of falling petrol prices at the fuel pumps. The Boy's a moron.

White man on the Candidate's List said...

Sir Alan Haselhurst and Sir George Young have both been carefully cultivating members on all sides of the house to their respective causes to take the chair.

Whichever gets it will precipitate the resignation of the other and another plum Tory seat will come free.

Better than Clarke in the chair, send him to the Lords to be our lead spokesman there on economic matters, he can beat Mandelson up every week and be a valuable addition to the Conservative team. Being Speaker means he cannot do that.

Oh look, another plum Tory seat has come free. BTW, did I tell you? I'm from Rushcliffe!

Anonymous said...

Ann Widdecombe

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Martin Day said...

The Ken Clarke wants to be speaker sounds like a Labour spin operation.

Gordon Brown was chicken for PMQ's yesterday - like the man he is he left a woman to defend his economic record.

Brown wanted nice pictures at an international summit and to make sure he was not battered by Cameron. In the event Brown managed to screw his gate crashing of the summit up as well! Something about loft insulation.

Richard P said...

Please, please make Ken Clarke the Speaker.

That means Cameron can't use elevate him as a cabinet minister to cause havoc to the Tory Party.

scallywag said...

He'd be a lot cheaper than Gorbals Mick...

dalesman said...

Ken would be a great choice, but even better in the cabinet instead of some of the light-weights.

Paul Burgin said...

I'd be happy to see him as Speaker. I think he'd be one of the more memorable ones as well

Anonymous said...

"Sir Alan Haselhurst and Sir George Young have both been carefully cultivating members on all sides of the house to their respective causes to take the chair."

So has John Bercow...

Anonymous said...

I would say that would be close to the perfect job for Ken Clarke. He's too big a Conservative beast to be excluded from cabinet but his views on Europe are too toxic to allow him to be in a Conservative cabinet. Making him Speaker would be a great move BUT unless the Conservatives have a huge majority it may not happen.

To the fools who say that Ken Clarke couldn't be Speaker because he is not impartial; have you seen Michael Martin in action?

Anonymous said...

I would much rather see his talents put to good use on the Conservative front bench. Ideally as Chancellor.

Ian McKellar said...

I remember campainging for Selwyn Lloyd in October 1974. The problem was the both the Labour and Lib Dems put up a candidate against him (and its about time that we put candidate's against Labour Speakers)
What amused me was that we couldn't use Blue in either rossettes or posters. We had to use Green (just as well he wasn't a Glasgow MP) Mind you in that part of the world, the Conservative Party colour had been red until the 1960s anyway

Anonymous said...

Not possible - unless the Conservatives win the election and then it's doubtful if enough of the party would vote him in to the Speakers Chair.
In the event of Labour holding the majority there is no way that a Tory would ever be allowed to become Speaker I'm afraid

Unsworth said...

Quite nice to think of a Speaker with a proper understanding of Jazz, a decent Claret, cigars and suede shoes.

Anonymous said...

unsworth @ 1.22 - you have it in one !

ken clarke - although i disagree with his pro eu views and inspite of his having a legal background,being a smoker and wearing hush puppies he comes over as someone who would do the job without bias and with humour.

Tim Roll-Pickering said...

liam repeats the myth that the Speakership was meant to deliberately alternate between the main parties until Michael Martin.

In fact a new Speaker is normally nominated from the government benches - it just so happens that the turnover of governments in the 1960s and 1970s meant that the vacancies occurred under alternate governments. But in 1959 a Conservative Speaker was followed by another - indeed they were the fourth in a succession of Conservatives since 1928. Between 1835 and 1905 six successive Whigs/Liberals held it in succession, because the vacancies all occurred under such governments.

And for a more recent example did the Conservatives nominate a Labour MP in 1992? No. They nominated Peter Brooke - it was a backbench rebellion over putting someone who'd only just left the Cabinet in the chair that led to Betty Boothroyd's election instead.

Anonymous said...

i don't think the government nominates the speaker - isn't this appointment jealously guarded by the whole house of commons ?

alright i know michael martin got selected (who knows how or why) but it was the whole house wot dun it !

incidently back in the 80's wasn't margaret m rumoured to be thinking of giving the post to some trusty or other and had to be told NO!

Paul Linford said...

I like the idea of Ken as Speaker but like several other commenters I don't think he's quite finished with frontline politics yet....

Anonymous said...

Thus the last posting from Mr Linford says it all !

Osborne worries Tories because he appears to be far too close to Cameron. His heart is in the right place but he is rather too juvenile to be accepted as a serious Shadow Chancellor and so during these very tricky times he is less than convincing to the grass root Tory core vote.

Poor Caroline Spelman, as Party Chirman, has recently suffered quite unnecessarily. Great pity because she is a valuable asset.

With Osborne likely to become a liability, stick him as Chairman and let Ken Clarke steady the ship.

Tim Roll-Pickering said...

In response to anonymous at October 16, 2008 3:43 PM, it is the whole House which elects the Speaker, but the initial motion is normally proposed from the government benches and I believe past Leaders of the House have had the job of privately sussing out prospective Speakers when a vacancy comes up. As the Boothroyd election shows, a Speaker has to be acceptable to the whole House and the Whips can't be used to impose a government choice.