Wednesday, 20 May 2009

A reforming Speaker does not have to be young

There are old conservatives, but there are young conservatives, too.

And for confirmation that old men can be reformers, remember that Pope John XXIII was a month short of his seventy-seventh birthday when elected.

One of the "young" candidates cited is John Bercow, who, at 46, is hardly a spring chicken. If the Commons really wants a young Speaker who also has good ideas for bringing parliament into the 21st century, then they should drag Jo Swinson kicking and screaming to the Chair.

Whoever is eventually selected must be supported by honourable members when he or she proposes reforms, ignoring the efforts of the whips if they stand in the way.

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