“Who are you calling a fucking clown?”
Much of what has happened in both the financial and political world recently has simply been as a result of poor governance. The latest example can be found in the way that the Speaker of the House of Commons has conducted himself following the search of Damian Green’s Westminster office.
The Speaker has said that the police did not have a search warrant. The Police only need a search warrant if they are denied permission to search premises. All that the police have to do is to satisfy themselves that the person from whom they are seeking permission has the right to grant such permission. Because they sought permission from the Serjeant at Arms, they acted correctly.
The Speaker is wriggling and the question of the Police search warrant is a huge red herring. Michael “Coco” Martin appears to be “doing a Pontius Pilate” and not supporting the Serjeant at Arms.
The “search-warrant-red-herring” masks a much wider and more profound issue – it is the difference between responsibility and accountability. It was the Speaker who hired the Serjeant at Arms and although he has delegated responsibility, he has not delegated either managerial or constitutional accountability. That remains with him.
The choice that he has is a stark one. If he believes that the Serjeant at Arms acted illegally or exceeded her authority – she has to go, closely followed by the Speaker. If he believes that she acted correctly, he must give her his full (public) support.
No more scapegoat-hunting and mealy-mouthed statements please. This is a straightforward management issue and it certainly does not warrant what has become the Prime Minister’s stock delaying tactic – an enquiry.
( I wonder how the PM would feel if the policeman who opens and closes the door to No 10 allowed the Plod to enter the premises and search through the PM’s desk because they believed that he had somehow acted illegally).