Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Another beheading?

Mrs Rigby noticed in the "Today in History" widget that on 19th April 1536 Anne Boleyn was beheaded, having been charged with adultery. It might have had something to do with her not providing Henry VIII with a male heir, something he rather desperately wanted, and his close friends decided to find a way of getting rid of an inconvenience.

It's sad to read that

After Anne's arrival at the Tower in April 1536 it was noted that her behaviour oscillated from a resigned calmness to occasional bouts of hysteria and depression. One moment she would be laughing, sometimes maniacally, the next weeping uncontrollably.
Mrs R, unfortunately, can't help but compare Anne's situation with that of Michael Martin, a no doubt decent man who has found himself in a role that he longed for, but can no longer control, and who may find that today he loses his position, but not his head.

The Speaker holds one of the highest positions in the land, standing in precedent only below
the Archbishops, the Prime Minister and The Lord President of the Council (Mrs R had to look that one up here) It is a crucially important position, one that has a noble history. It is a role that has the full support of Parliament, but, unfortunately for Mr Martin there are only very few staunch Labour politicians support him, and wish him to remain as Speaker. One of them was reported as suggesting that the "campaign" to oust Mr Martin had been launched by middle class English people who've got something against the Scottish working classes. (Mrs R can't find the quote). This, Mrs R thinks, is ridiculous.

Mrs Rigby has long held the belief that when a person accuses another of something that is far-fetched and bigoted it's often because it's something that that particular individual might do to their own enemies. So, she wonders if it's the case that there are some Scottish people in Parliament who actually hold a grudge against a) the English b) "middle" classes, whatever they may be. Surely not, not in this day and age where equality rules supreme.

All that, though, is by the by, because Mrs R has noticed that Mr Martin might be tendering his resignation this afternoon.

Mrs Rigby is aware that he may be considered a scapegoat, but unfortunately there often has to be one, otherwise long standing, difficult, problems are not resolved.

Mrs R believes that if Mr Martin resigns with dignity he will be setting an excellent example to other politicians, of all parties, some of whom should also do the decent thing and resign their posts.

Mr Martin has indeed resigned and did so, Mrs R believes, with dignity.

These are his words.

"Since I came to this House 30 years ago, I have always felt that the House is at its' best when it is united.
In order that unity can be maintained, I have decided that I will relinquish the office of Speaker on Sunday June 21st.
This will allow the House to proceed to elect a new Speaker on Monday June 22nd.
That is all I have to say on this matter."

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