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An outstanding piece of leadership from Douglas. Now someone has broken ranks, maybe more shy MPs will follow his lead?

Its so important that we have a decent, competent Speaker in the Commons. Martin has failed to be either. Its not class jealousy and its not any ambition on my behalf (a ridiculous assertion by the Speakers mates given I'm a political nobody) but Martin must go for the sake of Parliament. Anyone who watches BBC Parliament regularly will see that Martin cannot deal with situations which require his intervention and that he requires the Clerks to help him with the rules far too often. Fair enough, there will be some obscure rules that might require him to ask for a bit of assistance with the interpretation of or help with recalling the specific wording, but Martin uses it like a replacement leg rather than a temporary crutch.

He shows clear bias in the House and his defence of Ministers for not answering questions ("He is answering in his own way" is an example of this) is a regular fixture in Parliamentary business.

I agree with Douglas Carswell calling on Mr Speaker to resign but he would have been wiser not to attack his fellow MPs in the article.He must try harder to build alliances for his reform ideas rather than divide people from him.

Congratulations Douglas. I have to say that over the time I've known about him he has impressed me with his ability to put things how he sees them. Plus ca change!

His proposals, apart from recall elections, are very sensible. Cross-party consensus material, I suspect, if anyone is willing to take up the cause.

Well spoken Douglas. You are joining the ranks of the great Parliamentary reformers.
All power to your elbow.

If the Speaker hasn't gone by the time of the election, can I suggest that there is a Conservative candidate in his constituency, offering the voters a real choice? Labour have contested a sitting Speaker's seat many times in the last 75 years so it's not as if this will be breaking some divine commandment.

And if the party won't officially select a candidate, does anyone fancy being an unofficial one?

Douglas has 'bottled in'---excellent.

Martin as Speaker

1. Is intellectually out of his depth.

2. Never has been impartial and has never seen the point of being impartial. To him the only point is to act as his lowland Labour clan breeding has tutored him to act ie in the interests of the Labour party and in particular the Scottish element of it.

3.The situation raises the question as to whether the Speaker should be a non MP. eg a civil servant. This might not go down well with MPs yet many of the electorate would see the point of that.

An excellent article in the MoS.
It is refreshing to hear from an MP with values who is prepared to speak out to represent his constituents rather than simply toe the line to further his own career.

I never much liked this Speaker. He doesn't seem to command the affection and respect of the House, as his two predecessors did, and who were seen as scrupulously fair. He seems to be quite cliquey, and, frankly, not all that bright.
Betty Boothroyd stayed 8 years (1992-2000), Bernard Weatherall 9 years (1983-92). Martin will soon have done the about same - why doesn't he just pass over the baton.

"Labour have contested a sitting Speaker's seat many times in the last 75 years so it's not as if this will be breaking some divine commandment."

Tim Roll-Pickering, would you care to substantiate this assertion with a fact or two - i.e. who stood against the following sitting Speakers in their constituencies?

Fitzroy
Clifton-Brown
Morrison
Hylton-Foster
Lloyd

Three times in the last 75 years - against Fitzroy in Daventry in 1935 and against Lloyd in the Wirral in 1974 (twice, along with the Liberals). So "many times"? Doubtful.

Here are two teasers - from which party have seven of the twelve Speakers since 1905 been drawn? And which party put up a candidate against Speaker Gully in 1895?

"The situation raises the question as to whether the Speaker should be a non MP. eg a civil servant. This might not go down well with MPs yet many of the electorate would see the point of that."

Absolutely not. Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater. The Speakership as an institution is not flawed just because Martin is a bad Speaker. A civil servant is a servant of the Crown, the executive. The Speaker must know no loyalty save to the House.

Keep it up, Dougal. You may be loathed by your colleagues (the idea of open primaries for sitting MPs is going to go down especially badly) but you're doing your job brilliantly.

Those who agree with Douglas's ideas should register their support at www.direct-democracy.co.uk

Martin won't go until his party loses faith in his position. Little-known Conservatives, no matter how laudable or sincere their motivations, will have little affect on him as he will see this as merely some type of class/party war.

In order to lever him out, either this movement must attract a significant number of Labour MP's, or the Labour leadership must - probably by dint of public pressure - also support his removal.

Well at least Carswell is showing some backbone, BUT, it is a damning indictment on the rest of the snouts in the trough, supine, spine-less, money grubbing, lobotomised representatives that they will not do the same.
Change at Westminster? modernisation and reform? we could well start with our MP's and demand that they represent constituents views and opinions not the party's and that conscience and religious viewpoint are redundant for the individual MP as he has to represent the majority view. Perhaps a demand that will be quite too innovative for some of our Westminster dinosaurs.
Full marks to Douglas Carswell and keep up the critique.

Thomas Drane & bill baker: The Speaker's seat has been contested as following since 1935 (courtesy of the fantastic David Boothroyd):

1935: E.A. FitzRoy (C): Lab
1945: D. Clifton Brown (C): Lab
1950: D. Clifton Brown (C): Ind L (maverick proto-loony advocating a two day week)
1951: No incumbent
1955: W.S. Morrison (C): Ind Lab
1959: No incumbent
1964: Sir H.B.H. Hylton-Foster (C): Lab, L
1966: H.M. King (Lab): Ind "Non Party Democratic Nationalist"
1970: H.M. King (Lab): N Dem P, Ind advocating Speaker be ex officio MP
1974(F): J.S.B. Lloyd (C): Lab, L
1974(O): J.S.B. Lloyd (C): Lab, L
1979: T.G. Thomas (Lab): PC, NF
1983: No incument
1987: B.B. Weatherill (C): Lab, SDP
1992: No incumbent
1997: Miss B. Boothroyd (Lab): Ind Lab, N Dem
2001: M.J. Martin (Lab): SNP, SSP, SUP, Ind Lab

Note that the last three Conservative speakers had both Labour and Liberal/SDP opponents at every election.

Here are two teasers - from which party have seven of the twelve Speakers since 1905 been drawn?

Conservative. On every occasion in the last two centuries (at least) the Speaker has been drawn from the governing party of the day. There has never been any convention that it rotates between parties.

And which party put up a candidate against Speaker Gully in 1895?

Yes one of the more bitter moments between parties. Gully had only been an MP for nine years and had a marginal constituency, leading to outrage at his choice by the Liberals. His nomination as Speaker was contested (he won by only 11 votes) but the Carlisle Unionists didn't feel the marginal seat should be protected by the Liberals and so contested it unsuccessfully.

Oh and to update the list (as it was compiled before 2005):

2005: M.J. Martin (Lab): SNP, Soc Lab, SSP, SUP, BNP, Ind

tim roll pickering... gorbals mick in the BNP the BNP surely some mistake ...theyre the nasty racist boys so we are told.

It is impossible for a scot to be racist against an Englishman surely ?
But then again maybe hating the English does count as racism in which case he has qualified himself almost.

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