This anti-Trump virtue signalling has reached an unreal level. Today, Speaker of Parliament (which is supposed to be a neutral position) John Bercow said he would block President Trump from addressing Parliament when he comes across the pond for his state visit later this year.
John Bercow has been accused of damaging the Special Relationship after he vowed to block Donald Trump from speaking in Parliament and accused the US president of “racism and sexism”.
The Speaker of the Commons said he was “strongly opposed” to allowing Mr Trump to deliver an address in Westminster Hall and directly criticised his administration’s travel ban.
Mr Bercow’s comments drew criticism from government sources, who accused him of breaching the convention that the Speaker must be politically neutral.
Sources close to Mr Bercow said he was officially only required to be politically neutral on domestic matters, and insisted that the convention did not apply to international matters.
One source told The Daily Telegraph that Mr Bercow was playing “student politics” with the Special Relationship.
Indeed. The article goes on to note that Trump hasn’t even asked to address Parliament in the first place, which makes this grandstanding all the more bizarre.
Bercow has always struck me (and others, as it turns out) as a bit of a fame hound, so I guess it’s not that surprising when you consider that. But still, this is an amazing breach of etiquette for a Speaker of Parliament.
Mr Bercow has suggested he will step down next year after nine years as Speaker, and is clearly thinking hard about his place in history. He has spent much of his time in office (and no little public money) aggrandising himself with expensive foreign travel and meddlesome attempts to “modernise” a Parliament that can function perfectly well without his schemes. No doubt this latest act of self-indulgent attention-seeking is another part of his legacy-building. In fact, he will go down in history as a Speaker whose arrogance and self-regard besmirched his great office.
Bercow out of order, & premature, on Trump. His ego has prevented him from heeding Speaker Lenthall’s sage words on the role of the Speaker
— James Forsyth (@JGForsyth) February 6, 2017
His stance might actually mean something other than grandstanding, if he had actually blocked people like China’s authoritarian thug leader Xi Jinping from addressing Parliament. But not only did he refuse to block him, he also sat right behind the guy while he addressed the body.
— Sam Coates Times (@SamCoatesTimes) February 6, 2017
Then again, Jinping is a shade other than white, so I guess different rules apply in his case.