Monday, 18 May 2009

Will Brown let the Martin confidence motion be debated?



Or will Gord block it making it even worse for himself?

Well there we are. Martin's made his statement and PB's main site goes down because there's so much traffic.

We now have to wait until we see what happens to the no confidence motion. Will Brown let it be debated? What's Cameron going to do now?

I think that James Forsyth at the Spectator CoffeeHouse has got this one right. The Tory leader might be reticent to join Nick Clegg in calling from Martin to go but he could demand that the government makes time available for the cofidence debate. 

That would really put Brown on the spot and make him move from his current position of neutrality.

The big winner this afternoon, I guess, is Ladbrokes. Their "Speaker going" market was linked to a departure by the end of the month. I got on with PaddyPower where it's open until the end of the year. 

110 comments:

Matthew said...

If Brown doesn't allow the motion to be debated the calls for a GE by Cameron will be widely supported.

SallyC said...

I thought things were about to get out of control but MPs stepped back at the end, no doubt frightened of appearing a rabble.
White on the Beeb talking tosh as usual.

Tim said...

So backbenchers cannot move a substantitive motion in the Commons?

Our Parliament is badly broken.

SallyC said...

Matthew, they do rather go ahnd in hand. If Labour can't sort it get them out.

This is a repeat of the Green affair, where Brown HQ organised the response.
Cameron has called for the debate!

fr said...

You have to wonder at the thick skin of politicians. MPs stand up and say you are useless to your face and he doesn't blink an eyelid.

simon said...

I don't think we will ever see a sadder sight than Martin floundering in front of the entire House.

He has to go. But suspect he won't/

Ted said...

It was beyond toe curlingly embarrassing to watch Martin. On capability, a Speaker after more than a decade in the Chair not knowing what type of motion nor how a motion could become substantive. Blundering through, no substance to his statement other than yet another plan, another meeting.

When I saw Sir Patrick Cormack stand I confess I expected a supportive speech. More devastating for the sharpness of the message delivered politely and indirectly.

SallyC said...

I was really interested in Cameron's 'get on with it' comments to associations this morning.

Alastair said...

It would be a tragedy for Parliament if the Speaker were able to use rules and procedure successfully to deny the House and the country an opportunity for a fresh start that can only begin with a new person in the Chair.

Having said that, it is difficult for me to see how momentum can be sustained on this front without a significant intervention from someone like David Cameron or even a senior member of the Cabinet which, judging by what has been said thus far, doesn't seem to be very likely.

simon said...

I suspect Cormack might have done his chances of becoming the next Speaker no harm today

He has the dignity to do it

SallyC said...

Martin will have to be removed by a crane.
He appears to have no sense of higher purpose.

SallyC said...

It is now clear that Gordon has no intention of forcing him out and that Robinson saying Martin doesn't have his support is rubbish. This is a reguard action to stop a by election. Martin can resign his seat and can hold it over Gordon.

Mike Smithson said...

There's no way that this can be just let hanging. If Brown prevaricates, as he generally does, it will make him look even more inept.

PMQs on Wednesday could be interesting.

Alastair said...

I think you must be correct Sally, given that there was no mention of a departure date, not even a statement of intention to stand down at the GE which most commentators regarded as a certainty. The man clearly feels he can brazen this out and that events will move on.

James Burdett said...

I think that Cameron now has to withdraw support for Martin, he can do it with regret and say that it doesn't impact support for the office of Speaker.

fr said...

Seeing as the motion of no confidence was well signposted, you would have thought that the speaker would have done his homework on its status.

SallyC said...

Cameron has called for the debate to go ahead and is relaxed about his MPs signing the motion.

Richard Nabavi said...

I think we can forget any scruples about giving Martin an honourable way out now.

But even if he doesn't go, each further outrage simply adds to the 'Time for an election, time for a change' momentum.

SallyC said...

I believe Gordon has handed the iniative [even more of it] to the opposition. I can only imagine the tearing of hair behind the scenes getting Martin to compromise.

Simon said...

Just seeing the images of Brown trying to be helpful at the launch of the World Cup bid, he really doesn't get it.

The last thing anyone wants to see him doing is messing around with footballers.

Simon said...

O/T - Mike, I hope you don't mind - but I have today set up a political discussion forum

http://westminsterhall.proboards.com/

In no way would I see this as a rival for what PB and PB2 have to offer - but would hope that it might provide a different way in which discussions can be carried on.

I would welcome any feedback/suggestions

Scott P said...

I was worried that Martin was going to announce his retirement at the next election, and that would be enough to secure his position. I should have been more confident that the limitless incompetence of the Labour Party would lead them to the worst possible outcome for Martin and Gordo.

fr said...

Will we get some warning when the main site comes back ?

Ted said...

Gordon Brown apparently spent days worrying about his cleaning bill , calling Will Lewis at Telegraph to demand retractions, getting his sister-in-law to write a column for the papers and eventually getting his brother to demand a retraction. Meanwhile the crisis grew and he prevaricated.

So Martin seems to have spent weekend concentrating on his excuses, apology and speech, getting his friends out to support him. All inward on himself, not looking at the historic nature of a motion against him and what that meant. His performance was dire.

SallyC said...

Michael White was quite flippant about Martin going at the end of the Parliament [oh of course etc etc] and then popping off to the Lords.

So clearly that is the Labour's line: they don't want to force him out [because they aren't strong enough to do it] and will let him go to the Lords but they want everyone to ASSUME he will go - so they can try to take the sting out of it without actually doing anything at all.

And they are relying on their guys like White to put it about and slag off people like Carswell in the process - if today's events are anything to go by.

Richard Nabavi said...

An interesting comment over on CoffeeHouse by 'Boudicca':

Gordon Brown said, with regard to Speaker Martin, he would abide by the decision of the House. Not to grant the necessary debate will mean the House doesn't have an opportunity to express its Will.

James Burdett said...

Ted - Michael Martin hadn't even ascertained the status of the motion being laid against him. Shows how totally out of his depth he is.

James Burdett said...

Apparently Brown is making an unscheduled address to the PLP. According to Iain Dale.

Morris Dancer said...

Hello chaps, and indeed chapesses. Shame pb.com's gone down.

Think Cameron will raise this at PMQs?

Anonymous said...

Martin's statement was so resonant of Brown. "We have to do all we can"

CCQH has a petition calling for a GE on its website

Martin couldnt have been worse if he tried.

Martin goes. GE inevitable.


MTF

fr said...

Hello M. Dancer,
I think it is very unlikely that DC will refer to pb.c going down at PMQs.

ChristinaD said...

Just surveying the carnage that Martin left in his wake in the HoC's, unbelievable scenes. He has certainly managed to out do his appalling behaviour to Hoey and Winnock last week with that performance today.
I believe that some were pledging to sign that No confidence motion as they left the chamber!
He seems to be determined to drag the whole Parliament down around his ears over his own career.

Some reported that Martin had been into see Gordon Brown earlier today, the one thing that is keeping him in place right now, is a PM cut from the same cloth as the Speaker. The pair are a complete disgrace.

I was joking at the weekend when I suggested that this would all be decided by whoever had the bigger cojones. Yet again, Iain Martin's words come to mind, Michael Martin has decided he ain't leaving through the main entrance with his, or the house's dignity intact. Will the MP's now tell him to, 'Pick a windae, yer leavin'?

Morris Dancer said...

ChristinaD, this is not party political but if Brown provides sanctuary for the Speaker it will be. He cannot be allowed to remain.

fr, you are a silly sausage.

Chris A said...

Still not back I see. As I pointed out to Nick P last night the public just won't accept all this parliamentary nonsense about what sort of motion it is. If Brown does not allow this to be debated (and I predict he won't) then the situation will continue festering.

jsfl said...

Evening All,

Martin's performance was shameful and those in Labour who defend him are only displaying their own unsuitability to be in political office. Brennan on Sky was disgraceful. I hadn't realised there were so many motormouth Labour MPs who are reminiscent of Scargill. They are sickening.

All they are doing is dragging Parliament out of the gutter and into the sewer (for easy access to the Cesspit in 10 Downing Street perhaps?).

Cameron's right we need a general election to end this debacle before it destroys our political system. Of course an early General election with a Conservative victory would likely mean a referendum on Lisbon too.

Oh dear what a shame never mind.

I imagine Brown's orifice is going to get decidely squeaky over the next few weeks.

Let The People Decide!

dr spyn said...

The Speaker is elected by the House of Commons, it isn't a office decided by the PM.

Martin's performance was at best pathetic.

Shame that PB main site has gone down, I had thought that the rude words had upset the filter at work again.

RodCrosby said...

As I posted on an earlier thread, there may be no legal way to remove the Speaker. The no-confidence motion, even if debated, even if passed, is almost certainly non-binding.

Martin could ignore it. He wants that record as the longest-serving Speaker since the War...

SallyC said...

Brown's unsheduled address?

a. Leave Martin alone.
b. I promise I will get him out fter I win the next GE.
c. I am doing everything I can.

??????????????////

Morris Dancer said...

SallyC, it would be a supreme and delicious irony if Brown's backing secured the Speaker's exit.

Simon said...

I am rather loathed to go out to the theatre this evening... worried I might miss something important!

jsfl said...

Martin could ignore it. He wants that record as the longest-serving Speaker since the WarAnd the reputation as the worst Speaker in modern history.

The current Labour Party already have the worst Prime Minister in modern history and the worst Home Secretary. Do they really want to prove they cannot be trusted with any senior office in Government and Parliament.

SallyC said...

I am afraid I see Rod's point here.

They can get as upset as they like but if the Gvt block the timetable and Martin digs in, he will stay.

We have given hin the last rites before.

Chris A said...

Where is everyone? Perhaps PB.com2 needs some more advertising.

jsfl said...

Nick Clegg on Sky

We don't want to replace one establishment party with another at a General Election.So the Libdems don't want to win any seats then?

Morris Dancer said...

SallyC, I disagree. The Opposition could resign en mass (and sympathetic Labour backbenchers could also) and the Queen may then dissolve Parliament.

Extreme course of action. But sometimes you need strong medication to deal with a particularly malignant disease.

I thought the Speaker would say he'd step down at the next election and thereby assuage the more doubtful Labour MPs considering voting against him. The fact he didn't even say that shows he has no grasp of how serious the situation is, nor indeed does he regarding Parliamentary procedures despite a decade in the chair.

James Burdett said...

jsfl - yeah that was a dense statement.

James Burdett said...

Morris Dancer - The procedure to resign your Commons seat requires an appointment to the Stewardship of the Manor of Northstead or to the Chiltern Hundreds. These are in the hands of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, so you can imagine what would happen if everyone wanted to resign it just wouldn't happen.

SallyC said...

Morris,

You're a bit of an anarchist.

Caveman said...

Not as good as the 5/1 they were offering previously which I flagged up, but Hills are still offering 2/1 if Martin goes by the end of 2009.

SallyC said...

I think the dissolvers of Parliament among you are getting carried away. This lot have no shame.
They are a rabble.

Morris Dancer said...

SallyC, I am not an anarchist (although I admit I'm not entirely orthodox given my twin habits of morris dancing and the design and construction of artillery weapons).

But I don't like pussyfooting about. If somebody grabs your arm and won't let go don't try pulling away or crying for help, just knee the bugger in the balls then throw him in a canal.

Likewise, Martin needs to be dealt with swiftly and ruthlessly.

JamesBurdett, if it came to all those MPs resigning (or even stating and being denied the right to resign) and the Speaker, aided by Brown, clinging to power then I believe with public fury over expenses fresh in the mind a march on Parliament would not be out of the question. I mean of course a peaceful protest but one of such size it could not be ignored.

And before you say "Iraq" we must have an election within a year. The Government is headed for a landslide defeat. If it defied millions marching in protest it would be obliterated.

HF said...

ChristinaD yes Nick Robinson was one who wrote that Martin had seen G Brown earlier today.

G Brown clearly failed to give Martin any lead on what he ought to do. So why would Brown then allow a motion against him?

We have the most inept PM and the most inept Speaker. They are simply too stupid to see where their behaviour will end up.

Chris A said...

James Nigel Lawson coped with appointing loads of Ulster Unionists in the 1980s.

If the Tories put their mind to it they could resign en masse. Labour would then have two options: they could ignore the empty benches opposite and fail to move the writs; or we could have a mini general election with all the Tories returned with increased majorities. I'd suggest that HM would take an exceptionally dim view if Brown tried the former.

SallyC said...

Brown saw Martin before he made his statement on Green and the same pattern has been followed today.

My husband asked if Martin had even read the statement before, let alone written it.

Anonymous said...

If Brown refuses the debate, would this be sufficient reason to call for a vote of no confidence?

If yes, would it succeed given that there are p!ssed-off Labour MPs too?

b.

Simon said...

He could hardly read it - I don't think I have seen a more stumbling performance - and that is saying something for Martin

Steven Ronald said...

blimey

jsfl said...

Sign the petition.

General Election petitionLet the people decide!

dr spyn said...

This Squeaker is as thick as mince.

Robinson talking fluent balls once again.

As for Brown does he really think that trying to bring the World Cup to the UK is a suitable distration or relaunch?

SallyC said...

Signed

SallyC said...

What's Robinson saying?

ChristinadiackD said...

Morris dancer, I think we are past the party political issue now. This is about leadership, or the lack of it from the current PM and the Speaker of the House. And as this crisis grows, and brings Parliament into further disrepute, their failings become even more stark. Neither seems to have grasped the dangers here.

Richard Nabavi said...

Caveman 17:54

Surely there must be a better than one in three chance of either an election, or Martin going in the next couple of weeks.

So a good bet, IMO.

Simon said...

The House is going into recess on Thursday

so I have my doubts we will get any resolution before then...

stjohn said...

Richard Nabavi at 17.19.

I had exactly the same thought. Honest!

Brown says he will abide by the decision of the House. Brown and Martin reportedly met yesterday. Martin says he won't allow the debate because it is not a substantive motion supported by the government.

So for the House to decide on Martin's fate, the govermnent must allow the motion of no confidence in the Speaker to be debated. Brown can't hide behind such weasel words. This shambles is descending into farce. Brown has to make government time available to allow the motion to be debated.

Cicero said...

Frankly, shouldn't MPs boycott the chamber until the wretch leaves the Speaker's chair.

He HAS to go! Brown has got to get a backbone or else Clegg and Cameron will just destroy him

SallyC said...

Simon,
And then he holiday will take some of the momentum out of it - as Hughes said on three line whip.

That is the plan I'm sure.

jsfl said...

Simon:

My guess is that the last revelations from the Telegraph will be at the end of this week then.

Just enough to cast a dark shadow over the campaign

HF said...

I notice that Labour has not suspended the latest MP (Chapman) to have received money above what their mortgage interest allowed.

So are they blaming the fees office and the head of that empire is .... Speaker martin.

Or did they fear that at this rate they will lose their majority?

Anonymous said...

The DT have a 2 min. video of Martin fending off his critics after his speech.

http://tinyurl.com/prac7n

b.

SallyC said...

Tom Bradby - let's see what he makes of it?
'Car crash'.

EdP said...

Who killed the main site? Does Mike Smithson need another 50p for the meter at PB towers?

jsfl said...

HF:

Indeed it is noticeable how they are trying to bury that one. It's disgusting. Chapman and the HoC authorities need to be investigated by the police.

fr said...

Lord Foulkes thought it was a skilful statement.Criticizes anti-gov bias of BBC. Clearly doesn't know the true meaning of the word "fulsome".

EdP said...

The main site appears to be back up.

SallyC said...

ITV not burying it.

jsfl said...

SallyC:

No the ITV certainly are not and using the dreaded C(omplicit) word. Of course the HoC are complicit.

ITV also pointing out that Moran's local party has come out in full support of her. Go figure.

stjohn said...

I agree 2/1 looks a good bet for a 2009 Martin exit. I've topped up.

Morris Dancer said...

Main site not up for me.

Aye, if a no confidence vote occurs Brown might end up sinking along with HMS Gorbals.

jsfl said...

the main site is coming back up but I can't post (and no others seem to have been able to post either for the last 20 minutes)

James Burdett said...

Main site still down for me :(

stjohn said...

How would PBers price a 2009 Martin exit?

If I was making a book I think I would go 1/2 he goes, 6/4 he stays.

Unless William Hill know something we don't?

EdP said...

Sorry MD, I managed to access it for about a minute and then it died again.

On topic - what a shameful afternoon for the office of Speaker, MPs and democracy. Martin's speech only served to pour a tanker full of petrol onto the bonfire of resentment, and inflame the contempt with which Parliament is now held by an increasingly angry electorate.

This is only going to have an acrimonious and tearful end.

Morris Dancer said...

I suspect the papers are really going to go for the Speaker. Brown may have to choose between being a human shield or sacrificing a Glaswegian Labour trade unionist.

SallyC said...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/may/18/guardian-icm-poll-expenses

NEW POLL?

David Cameron has dealt well with expenses crisis, voters tell Guardian/ICM poll

C 39 [-1]
L 28 [-2]
LD 20 [+1]

stjohn said...

Parliament has been brought into massive disrepute over the last few weeks by Expensesgate. It seeks to respond by calling for a vote of no confidence in the Speaker and the Speaker himself rules that inadmissable!

It's an affront to democracy and beggars belief. I hope the MSM go to town on this.

Morris Dancer said...

The media, and the public, will. The expenses were so bad partly because of the gerrymandered system. This is even worse because it's the Commons itself which is being fiddled.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the heads up on the new poll SallyC.

More or less in line with expectations.

Anonymous said...

ICM are the gold standard, but I find it hard to credit the Labour score.

Morris Dancer said...

Labour too high. Otherwise roughly the same as the others.

ukpaul said...

Who on earth thought it was a good idea to give Martin an honourable get out and who feverishly imagined that he would see it as a plausible outcome? Pure humiliation of him was, and remains, the only way to get rid and to allow parliament to at least point towards a different direction.

If he escapes with any credibility then parliament will not have done its job and will have set themselves up for further disaster. It's in their hands so who has the guts?

SallyC said...

Mike will have to look at the detail. We will see what the spiral of silence adjustment did.

In any event, this was taken at probably the worst point in the crisis for the Tories whne Cameron had just to let it run.

I feel a lot happier today seeing what his tactics are.

Anonymous said...

ukpaul all speakers by convention go to the Lords. i am rubbing my hands with glee at the thought of the son of the manse having to send him there once the commons forces him out. can you imagnien how the press will react!!!!

Richard Nabavi said...

SallyC 18:50

Rather a surprising result, I think, in that it shows little change since last month.

Richard Nabavi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ukpaul said...

"ukpaul all speakers by convention go to the Lords. "

Screw convention, I don't believe in it.

jsfl said...

Site is back up but you may need to refresh after posting. It's not refreshing properly (on IE8) at least.

Richard Nabavi said...

Further to the Guardian/ICM poll:

The share going to minor parties is up three points to 14% overall, split mainly between Ukip and the BNP on 4% each, the Greens on 2%, and nationalist parties on 3%.http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/may/18/guardian-icm-poll-expenses

ukpaul said...

Main site still not working on either IE, Firefox or Safari for me.

James Burdett said...

I can't see the site back up.

SallyC said...

It has to be said that Brown and co will be very relieved to be on 28. It is a whole lot better than the others.

Mike Smithson said...

New thread on ICM

stjohn said...

ukpaul at 18.59.

I argued that it was worth some kind of a deal being struck to see the back of Martin.

Now I don't care how he is wrested from the Chair as long as it happens soon.

The public have been taken for complete fools over Expensesgate. Parliament is in crisis. And now we have to witness this. The Mother of all Parlaiments apparently impotent in its attempts to respond to the crisis and reduced to ridicule.

It's unbelievable!

HF said...

Lord Foulkes on C4 defending Spkr Martin by saying that Cormack and Shepherd only spoke because they lost to Martin in the original vote for Speaker.

Unbelieveable smears... but this is Labour.

EdP said...

'Screw convention, I don't believe in it.'

I'm with UKpaul on this. Convention only serves to provide an excuse for the chisellers and spivs in the HoC to keep their piggy heads in the trough.

genghiz the kahn said...

Can't get the main site.

Foulkes talking sh1te again, claims that Sheppard and Cormack are biased, they want his job.

dr spyn said...

Brown showing himself to be incapable of talking to the press or C4. Snow doorsteps Brown's motor car stunt.

Anonymous said...

This sub site is very tedious.Just constant repetition slagging off Martin and GB.Whether you lot can accept it or not and quite frankly I don't give a toss,not everyone out there is a Tory and does not hold the same views.
I thought in fact this was a betting site. The one eyed comments make you lot sure fire losers and have the bookies laughing all the way to the bank.

Anonymous said...

It's an ill wind, etc. At least the collapse of PB's normal website means that that the adverts there aren't gobbling up my dongle's precious monthly allowance of megabytes.

I feel sure that today's events will damage Labour quite badly, not only because Martin refuses to go, but also because Brown appears too weak to do anything about the situation. THEY STILL DON'T GET IT!

If I were a Ladbrokes punter betting on a pre-31.5.09 exit date for Martin, I certainly wouldn't be ripping up my betting slip just yet, something just has to give on this one and soon. As for Hills' 2/1 against Martin going before the year end .....wow, I thought Christmas had come early, a stonker of a bet imho.

Peter from Putney

Thatsnews said...

Could Michael Martin not help himself from helping himself?Good grief.