Let’s be clear.
The Speaker’s statement yesterday about Donald Trump was unsurprising in terms of its –
- Party politics. Watch the video – and note how often he turns to the Opposition benches for support, fixing on the Government ones only for his final blast.
- Double Standard. He was content to wave through an address by the President of China in Westminster Hall, a country that doesn’t practice equality before the law and has no independent judiciary to speak of.
- Rudeness. As he himself conceded, any address to both houses by a visitor in Westminster is a matter for two other people – and not just him. This morning’s Times confirms that one of them, the Lords Speaker, was not consulted before his statement.
- Self-importance… “I am grateful…I will say this…I must say…I would myself…I am even more strongly opposed…I operate on advice…I perhaps do not have…I would not wish to…I conclude by saying…I feel very strongly.”
- …And animalistic cunning. He knows that although he doesn’t have the confidence of one of the two main parties, he can push his luck just a bit further on this issue.
No, the only sense in which it was uncharacteristic is that he’s been so slow to push himself into the limelight. This site predicted his move over a week ago.