Monday, February 25, 2008

Martin should go - but how?

It's obvious that Michael Martin should resign as Speaker of the House. He's incompetent and partisan - and his control of the House has disintegrated since the allegations of various financial irregularities have surfaced. A decent man would quietly step down as soon as possible.
Given that he probably won't do this, what should be done? The Tories are in something of a bind over this. Michael Martin was elected as Speaker when it was the Tories' 'turn'. Parliamentary conventions were ignored then, and the Tories can only hope that they are not ignored again when it comes to Martin's replacement. For that not to happen, they have to tread quite carefully with regard to MArtin now. If they kick up a big fuss about his expenses - and throw in his bias/incompetence for good measure, you can bet your bottom dollar that backbench Labour MPs will take their revenge by selecting another Labour MP as his replacement. Simply doing nothing, on the other hand, looks weak.
My guess is we'll be seeing a lot of very carefully worded statements over the next few weeks, but that unless something extemely significant emerges that allows the Conservatives openly to call for Martin's resignation, we won't be seeing overt Tory action on it.

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