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Oh dear – John Bercow is embarrassing. He is my MP, and I fear we have got him for life

The MP for Buckingham jumps on every liberal bandwagon that presents itself

By on Thursday, 22 March 2012

Queen Elizabeth II walks alongside Commons Speaker John Bercow (PA photo)

Queen Elizabeth II walks alongside Commons Speaker John Bercow (PA photo)

I wonder if other people winced when they read or heard Speaker John Bercow’s address to the Queen in Westminster Hall last Monday? I feel almost a personal sense of embarrassment when I listen to him as he happens to be the MP for Buckingham, my own constituency. As Buckingham is a safe Tory seat and as he is Speaker, I fear we have got him for life. Knowing how quickly he has jumped on any ultra-liberal bandwagon that presents itself – wanting to extend our abortion laws to Northern Ireland, for instance, and voting to lower the age of homosexual consent – this is not a happy prospect.

So I was glad to read Ann Farmer’s letter today in the Telegraph, articulating my own thoughts. Having letters published in the press requires skill; whenever she is published, Mrs Farmer always manages to sound clear, concise, temperate and informed. You could call it a kind of epistolary apostolate. For those who haven’t seen it, this is what she writes:

John Bercow, the House of Commons Speaker, in his florid Diamond Jubilee address to the “kaleidoscope Queen”, appeared to promote his interests as patron of the Kaleidoscope Trust, a homosexual equality organisation. The Government’s determination to legalise same-sex marriage against widespread opposition makes it even more inappropriate for the Speaker, traditionally a politically neutral office, to highlight controversial issues.

On what should have been a celebration of 60 years of a monarch who has steadfastly avoided controversy for the sake of the higher good, Mr Bercow had the opportunity to raise his political stature. Sadly, it seems he chose to maximise his role and minimise the Queen’s.

Interestingly, the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has issued a judgment saying that the European Convention on Human Rights “does not require member states’ governments to grant same-sex couples access to marriage”. The Court has ruled that this is not a question of discrimination or human rights. This goes again the British government’s plan to legislate for same-sex marriage on the grounds that existing law denies natural rights and discriminates against the same-sex minority.

However, the European ruling does imply that where a country legislates for same-sex marriage, then it will have to ensure to right to those couples to marry in churches if heterosexual couples have that right. To refuse this facility would be discrimination. Neil Addison, a specialist in discrimination law, comments: “If same-sex marriage is legalised in the UK it will be illegal for the Government to prevent such marriages happening in religious premises.” The British consultation document, issued last Thursday, has tried to make a distinction between civil marriages and religious marriages and said there would be no question of forcing churches to become involved.

Perhaps Mr Bercow would like to make a “florid” address to the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, pointing out its deficiencies in its judgement?

  • Honeybadger

    Poor you, Francis, to have such an attention-seeking, self-publicising, narcissistic ashtray-on-a-motorbike as an MP!

    How dare he upstage HM the Queen!

  • Ann

    Not preventing same-sex marriages on religious premises is not the same thing as forcing them. Removing the legal barrier against religious same-sex marriages simply means that those religions who want to be able to carry them out, such as Quakers, can do so. It does not force those who don’t, such as Catholics, into doing it.

  • Mike Davis

    A conservative jumping on every ultra-liberal cause that comes along? My, the poor man is absolutely mad – at the least, terribly, terribly confused. He’s a perfect fit in today’s political landscape! The participants don’t know if they’re coming or going.

  • aearon43

    But it does encode into law the nonsensical idea that men and women are nondifferentiable.  It is a rebellion against nature. And pride precedes the fall.

  • teigitur

    Awful man, and to think he is the Speaker. Shows how low the UK has sunk, in all kinds of ways.

  • Charles Martel

     Same-sex ‘marriages’ and unions of any kind are condemned by the Catholic Church. No Catholic may support them, and we have a duty to oppose them with all the tools at our disposal.

  • Charles Martel

    Bercow is an appalling little man.

  • nytor

    Well of course the ECtHR ruled in the way that it did. If it had ruled in any other way, it would have obliged all signatory countries to legalise same-sex marriage, and can you see Malta or Poland doing so? There is no “right” to same sex marriage under any international human rights convention.

  • nytor

    As for extending abortion laws to Northern Ireland – the idea has always infuriated me. If the people, and the elected politicians, of NI don’t want it, what business has the MP for Buckingham to interfere?

  • nytor

    You might want to tell Archbishop Nichols…

  • Charles Martel

     I have tried on about 10 occasions . . .

  • John Byrne

    .cancelled by author

  • John Byrne

    It can’t be an infallible Papal decree then.

  • John Byrne

    Mr Bercow is just one of those people the likes of whom, thankfully, have been with us down the ages.

    In times past his equivalent would have:

    said that slavery is wrong
    that democracy is a good idea
    that we should try to understand people with different opinions
    said that genocide is wrong
    said that women are the equal of men
    said that public floggings are wrong
    said that we should not mock people for being small or tall, black or white etc
    said that it is good to be able to speak one’s mind
    I’m sure you can add lots & Lots more (no reference to Sodom etc intended)

    But he’s straight and with kids too! — well that must surely be one good point grudgingly admitted by the nasty mud-slingers.

    Ann Farmer has her letters frequently published in the Telegraph, and I always read them. She is not, in my view, a nasty mud-slinger.
    But I do not agree with the opinion she expresses here.

  • teigitur

    I could not disagree more.

  • aearon43

    Can you explain logically how any of these are related to support of sodomy? You’re telling a story. You’re the “noble crusader,” always looking out for the poor and downtrodden (making sure, of course, not to become one of them), and always vindicated by popular opinion.

    I don’t like stories. I like logic. Allow me then to reinterpret your contribution into its logical essence.

    Major premise: slavery, genocide, sexism, et al. are obviously wrong
    Minor premise: the refusal to redefine marriage is akin to slavery, etc.
    Conclusion: the refusal to redefine marriage is wrong

    Can you spot the error there? Is respecting the fact that marriage is fundamentally concerned with procreation really akin to slavery? Do you really even believe that yourself? Honestly, do you? Answer me. Is respecting the biological reality of procreation the same as slavery? Would you say that to the face of a real slave? Would you?

  • Frank

    You might want to listen in Church. He wrote a letter saying just that last week.

  • Ann

    Rebellion against nature? Marriage is a man-made institution, not a natural phenomenon. Leaving marriage aside, homosexuality itself is clearly just as natural as heterosexuality. Or do you have a different definition of “natural” to everyone else?

  • aearon43

    Marriage is a support structure that allows children to be brought up in a healthy and stable environment.

    “homosexuality itself is clearly just as natural as heterosexuality”

    I don’t see how that’s clear at all. I assume that you’ve taken some kind of introductory biology course, or otherwise have some idea of how our precious infants come to exist? Yes?

    Our first thought should always be not for ourselves, but for the next generation, for which we bear the (nearly) crushing burden of guarding their souls from Hell. How to best ensure that the souls of the poor, young innocent children might make their sad way to heaven? ought to be first and foremost on our minds, at all times. Not this decadent argument about rights to commit sodomy.

    The innocent, vulnerable souls of the young deserve to have a mother and a father, their real (biological) mother and father, and not some sick “two fathers” fantasy world played by sodomites bound for Hell.

    Traditional marriage is natural because the complementary nature of the sexes is what creates new life. You don’t have to be a Christian to believe this. (Indeed, you would fail introductory biology if you did not.) Traditional (i.e. real) marriage is held in much higher reverence in such places as Japan, China, India, and South Korea, which are traditionally not monotheist, but which do place great value on a peaceful and stable society, rather than on the hedonistic, chaotic, destructive, and, let it be said! demonic demands of sodomites.

  • paulsays

    Think he’s a top guy. Keeps the house in order, rather than allowing the usual rabble – instills some order and process – rather than the last speaker who didn’t so a damn.

  • paulsays

     Why are you so afraid to say ‘gay-sex’ instead of sodomy, its kind of like you afraid of admitting to yourself how innocent it actually is.

  • paulsays

     Very true. The quakers have expressed such an interest, and currently they often bless civil ceremonies.

  • paulsays

    ‘And pride precedes the fall.’ (why include this needless babble just make your point)

  • paulsays

     Good thing the Church has equivocally banned infertile couples then….oh…

  • paulsays

     Ha ha was going to say.

  • teigitur

    Very helpful Im sure. But hardly of use on a Catholic website.

  • Ann

    I think we’re all aware of how babies are made, thanks. That does not make homosexuality unnatural. It is natural because in all cultures at all times, a small but significant percentage of the population has been born gay. Its as simple as that.

    Since your argument is based on the raising of children, I should first point out not all married gay couples would necessarily want children, and also that many gay couples are already raising children without being married. The most important point however, is that there is no evidence that children of gay couples are any worse off than those of straight couples.

  • paulsays

     Of course it is when we are talking about the law around marriage. It is a reason for allowing civil ceremonies to happen in place of worship – because some religions want it to.

  • Mike

    Why don’t we also encourage kleptomania and let those who have a tendency to steal to encode their practice in law so that it’s no longer forbidden? After all, it’s a natural phenomenon, they were born with this tendency. It’s only fair and will stop them being stigmatized. Enough with discrimination!

  • Ann

    Do you really need this to be explained to you? Stealing harms people. Mutual love between two people who happen to be the same gender does not.

  • teigitur

    If it happens in a place of worship, then it is no longer a civil ceremony/

  • Pfelger43

    Yeah thats totally the same thing, being gay is a mental illness that gives you criminal tendencies. Nice logic, bigot.

  • teigitur

    The last one of those was in 1954.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/B3HDWGG43M57WSA2AWNOFZIE6U Lucy

    Ann, do you really need this explained to you? However you dress it up, putting a penis in another persons rectum which is clearly designed for bodily waste or excrement is illogical and leads to a host of sanitary and medical problems when it is used in such fashion. I find it amazing that so many people including atheists who constantly criticize religion for being illogical and not scientific, cant see this simple biological fact. Homosexual sex is anything but natural. 

  • Jabezpound

    And the Queen, according to Anne Farmer has ‘steadfastly avoided controversy’. You mean like not paying tax for more than three decades, accepting millions extra in state handouts while we suffer cuts, halted a trial because of the possibility of disclosures that could harm one of her “blue” blood relations, virtual exclusion for her and the rest of her awful dynasty from the FOIA. What Anne Farmer’s statement is really saying is that a fawning government and a fawning British media  do not have the courage to highlight in detail, anything that might harm the Queen, the royals and the Monarchy. Of course Wiki-leaks democratically revealed the involvement of Andrew Battenberg as a bumbling buffoon in the Middle East business world I believe. Without wiki-leaks even this  royal misdemeanour would have remained under wraps instead of appropriately being aired in the public domain.

  • Ann

    “However you dress it up” – You’ve inadvertently hit the nail on the head there. The safety of it (and other sexual acts for that matter) does have a lot to do with whether or not you dress “it” up. If you catch my drift.

    By the way, if its not perfectly obvious already, not all gay men engage in anal sex, most gay women don’t, and many straight couples do.

    So now I’ve heard (bad) arguments against gay couples raising children, and against anal sex, but still no coherent argument against gay marriage. I wonder why that is. Perhaps its because there is nothing wrong with two people wanting to express their love and commitment to each other, regardless of their gender.

  • Malaka

    What trial are you referring to?

  • Jabezpound

    I suggest you do your own research rather than get other people to do it for you. You sound like another boring  royal apologist.My apologies however, if I have jumped the gun, and you are not, but are instead genuinely  concerned about the undemocratic role that the royals and the monarchy purvey on a daily basis, via fawning media,  to a gullible British public. Millions of us wonder what it is with people like Ann Farmer, who enjoy fawning at the feet of hereditary privilege and mediocrity, rather than people first. Please go to the trial involving Paul Burrell for further information.Nevertheless, does your silence on the other matters I have raised, mean that you condone  non-payment of tax,  excessive State Benefits and outrageous undemocratic cup boarding from the FOIA. for the privileged in British society?  

  • John Byrne

    I did not, here, put forward the proposition which you cite.  I simply listed some of the matters with which people in the past (with a similar progressive viewpoint as Mr Bercow) would have been concerned and the opinion they would have formed about them. 

    If you need any more help in respect of comprehension, I would be glad to provide it.

  • John Byrne

    In the circumstances of aearon42′s apparent indisposition, may I make a suggestion?

    “Sodomy” sounds (really) nasty. Sex, in private, between two gay, consenting adults isn’t nearly so bad. 

    How CAN people, like this chap, actually believe that God is interested in the private, consensual sexual acts between such people?

      

  • teigitur

    Mr Bercow is in no way progressive. As someone else on here points out. He is merely a liberal bandwagon-jumper. One of the many in our political classes. Nothing special at all, quite the reverse.
    I do hope you comprehend that Mr Byrne.Even if you do not agree.

  • Malaka

    Wow. No need to jump down my throat, all I did was ask a question. I have no idea why my comment made me “sound like another boring royal apologist”. I am in fact a republican, but was unaware of that particular case (having looked it up now I see that I would have been only 9 years old at the time of the trial in 2002).

  • John Byrne

    I understand well that which you are saying, but I do not agree with your evaluation of Speaker Bercow, whom I believe is a talented man of unimpeachable character.

    Your criticism of Mr Bercow as “a liberal bandwagon-jumper” is one example of the many ready-prepared & chilled (just warm in the microwave for 2 minutes) sound bites, which have been given to you to feed on, by the reactionary and Right-Wing media who dislike his effectiveness.

    Mr Bercow is doing his (considerable) bit to help improve our society and the functioning of Parliament.

    Long may he continue.

  • teigitur

    Oh you mean, just like the Kaleidoscopic sound bites in his infantile speech to the Queen? Circle of mirrors indeed.
     I find it hard to believe the “reactionary media” dislike him. In deed he is exactly the type they love.
     Is been a very long time since  I”fed ” from the  media, reactionary or otherwise. In fact there are few , if any media outlets I trust.

  • John Byrne

    Yes indeed. There are other worthy people, such as Mr Frank Field, Mr Ian Duncan Smith, Mrs Margaret Hodge…etc….lots of them.

    You seem to me to have ingested more than a few of the common reheated sound bites.

    It’s not so much a matter of trusting or not trusting the media, but rather of realising that there are different opinions and viewpoints – some of them held by honest, intelligent people and some worthy of serious consideration, even if they do not flow readily into your digestive system.

  • John Byrne

    Yes indeed. There are other worthy people, such as Mr Frank Field, Mr Ian Duncan Smith, Mrs Margaret Hodge…etc….lots of them.

    You seem to me to have ingested more than a few of the common reheated sound bites.

    It’s not so much a matter of trusting or not trusting the media, but rather of realising that there are different opinions and viewpoints – some of them held by honest, intelligent people and some worthy of serious consideration, even if they do not flow readily into your digestive system.

  • John Byrne

    If you ever wanted to get a letter published in the Telegraph, just say something very nice about the Royals (especially the top ones).

    I’ve done it twice for a bet (just for fun), and won.

  • John Byrne

    If you ever wanted to get a letter published in the Telegraph, just say something very nice about the Royals (especially the top ones).

    I’ve done it twice for a bet (just for fun), and won.

  • John Byrne

    If you ever wanted to get a letter published in the Telegraph, just say something very nice about the Royals (especially the top ones).

    I’ve done it twice for a bet (just for fun), and won.

  • teigitur

    Bring back Betty Boothroyd I say!