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Live blogging the Speaker's statement

The Speaker's hands were trembling and his voice quavering. I wonder why. Though a professional politician of many years' standing, he was also reading closely from a prepared statement; his eyes never raised from the paper. I wonder why. He was even calling "Order" to a background of silence. Was that printed on his crib sheet too? His only impromptu moment was to sneer at the Opposition (at a moment when he would have been well-advised to be less partisan) that;

Some have been able to go on television ... I have not had that luxury"

After quoting Erksine May, he stumbled as he confessed that his staff had blundered and promised that the police would never again be admitted without a warrant. He then proposed the classic delaying tactic of a committee to investigate the matter, the members of which he (hilariously) will select on the basis of parameters set out in a motion to be put forward by the very Executive whose actions are under question.

"I was not told that the police did not have a warrant ... The police did not explain, as they were required to do that a warrant was required. I regret that a consent form was signed without consulting the Clerk of the House ... I was not asked the question of whether consent was given ... I did not personally authorise the search... From now on a warrant will always be required..."

In short, as Mrs Paine contemptuously summed up the statement, "It wasn't me".

So, in the great traditions of his party, he dumped on his subordinates (hand-picked by himself in this instance) for whose actions he was vicariously responsible. He is a buffoon and a disgrace, but he serves one useful purpose. He is the shambling, dim-witted personification of the shabby mediocrity that is Labour.


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Never had you down as a shaggy fan ! Today is a good day, DNA judgement in Brussels, 3400 tax collectors to get the push, and my overseas project funding has been agreed, and I can take a few more people with me to join the brain drain to warmer climes

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