John Bercow is a curious little poppet.
He’s come a long way since his spotty days of undergraduate hangem’n’floggery in the Federation of Conservative Students, an organisation banned by Norman Tebbit for being too right-wing. Today he’s more likely to be found welcoming one acronym or another to Parliament or accosting the word ‘progressive’ and roughing it up.
Bercow, now handsomely perched in the gods of the liberal establishment, has defied the axiom that we become more conservative as we grow older. (Then again, if you start out in the Monday Club and keep going right, you’ll end up in Rhodesia by Friday.)
We need to understand this change of heart to appreciate the splenetic fury he inspires in the worst, most tribal brand of Tory. That rage is boiling over again, occasioned by two unfortunate incidents that have nonetheless been blown out of all proportion by the Speaker’s unyielding critics.