I have met the outgoing Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, only once but it is amazing how times have changed since then. Bercow came to Majorca as a guest speaker for the now dissolved, Conservatives Abroad about 15 years ago. One of the reasons he came here was because his late aunt lived in Palma.
I remember branch members telling me that it was a major coup for them to get Bercow because he was a rising star of the party. He had even been tipped as a possible leader. His talk to the local branch took place at a Palma restaurant and I remember being struck by his short stature, his deep and loud voice and his blue pinstripe suit. He looked like a Conservative Member of Parliament and he spoke like one.
His speech was good, I would say to the right of more moderate Conservatives, but it was well received. I interviewed him afterwards and he towed the party line on everything. He had been dubbed the Rottweiler by the Conservative Party because of his constant verbal attacks on the Labour Party. How times have changed. These days he has more supporters in the Labour Party than in the Conservatives and his resignation could be blamed on the party that at once stage had tipped him for the top.
Bercow has come along way since that speech in Palma, he has been one of the most prominent and controversial Speakers of Parliament of recent times. He will be missed by television audiences across the globe but probably not by the Conservatives.
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