Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cat amongst the pigeons

Oddly enough for an English Nationalist, I have a great deal of time for UKIP (for a given great deal of time) This is mostly because they are the only unionist party with a coherent devolution policy for the whole of the UK not just the Celtic fringe.

So this piqued my interest.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage is to stand against Commons Speaker John Bercow at the next general election.

Mr Farage told the BBC he was standing because MPs "have broken the trust" of the British people and Mr Bercow "represents the worst" of the Commons.

Convention rules that Speakers stay out of party politics. Labour and the Lib Dems will not stand against Mr Bercow in his Buckingham constituency.

Mr Bercow said he was "more than happy" to be judged on his record as an MP.

He was returned as Conservative MP for Buckingham, which he has represented since 1997, with a majority of 18,000 at the last general election.

Now Speaker Bercow has probably the safest majority in the Commons and under normal circumstances would be quite safe from any UKIP attempt at taking his seat. But (and you just knew there was a "but" coming) Bercow has to an extent alienated himself from the mainstream of the Tory Party and is not seen to "be" a Tory by many in the constituency. His elevation to speaker was opposed by many Tories and was seen to be a deliberate Labour slap in the face to having a neutral speaker after the Speaker Martin shambles by selecting someone they saw as "their" man to the speakership despite him being a Tory. Now as the Conservatives can't/wont put up a candidate, and by tradition neither will the Labour and Lib Dem Parties the way is clear for UKIP to have a go at an unpopular candidate representing themselves as the real Tories.

Conservative Home is oddly ambivalent about Farage standing with many saying that they would indeed support Farage against Bercow.

Definitely one to watch and indeed I do wish Farage and UKIP well with this one as do many Tories as well no doubt seeing as they see Bercow as "Labours Man" rather than their own these days.

2 annotations:

Harry Hook said...

I wonder if there is any chance they might make Nigel Farage Speaker as well?

James Higham said...

It's up in my sidebar.