How else could he have got Labour to back his bid?
Last night, in the aftermath of the commons election, the Indy writer, Steve Richards, talked in a TV interview about a private conversation that he’d had with Bercow just after the 2005 general election when the Buckingham MP revealed that his career objective was to become speaker.
This has set me thinking. For how could a Tory, then in his early 40s, harbour such a dream when everything would seem to be against him? He was too young and in the wrong party.
At the time Labour look set for a fourth victory and Bercow must have realised that the only way of pulling this off would be by getting Labour support.
So was his apparent move across the political spectrum and public opposition to Cameron part of a well-thought out plan that led to last nigh’t extraordinary victory? Basically has he managed to con both Labour and Tory MPs?
Was it Bercow who worked out that the only way of getting the job was by persuading Labour colleagues his candidature would be a brilliant way of screwing the Tories while at the same time dealing with the increasingly difficult question of the time being ripe for a speaker from his party?
And the joy for Bercow now is that nobody will ever know. For he’s in a job where being non-partisan is an essential requirement.
The timing seems to be right – for while Bercow was in Michael Howard’s shadow cabinet in 2004 he wrote to Tony Blair praising the then PM’s “outstanding statesmanship.” Looking back that was a strange thing to do – yet it all fits with my theory as does his public comments about Cameron’s privileged background.
If I’m right then, surely, he’s the idea man for the job – anybody who could pull off such a coup and fool so many people has extraordinary political gifts. No wonder he liked Blair!