Frankly Alan took exception once Connarty went off the cue cards issued from the Whips' office i.e. the points that MPs couldn’t be immune from the law and that serious crimes had to be investigated without fear or favour, and turned it into a class issue. Connarty apparently went on to say that the crux of the matter for his friend the speaker Michael Martin was that he was under fire because he was working class.
"The establishment", said Michael M, choosing to forget that it’s Labour that’s been in power for the past 11 years, didn’t want a "working class man in the job." He said he recalled the Tories putting forward someone for the post of Speaker on the basis that he was an Old Etonian and "of the right class".Well Cochrane quite correctly pointed out that the speakers during the last 16 years of Tory governments, run by the daughter of a grocer and son of a trapeze artist, including rather more working class speakers that Michael C would like us to remember. George Thomas, later Viscount Tonypandy, 1976-83 was the son of miner and a Labour MP to boot. Bernard "Jack" Weatherill (1983-92) may have been a Tory started his adult life as an apprentice tailor. Then there was the former shop assistant from Yorkshire, who became a high-kicking tiller girl for yes Betty Boothroyd (1992-2000) was also Labour.
Maybe Connarty is going as far back as the previous appointee John Selwyn Lloyd (1971-76) who after all went to a Public School, before going up to Magdalen College, Cambridge. So obviously being a Oxbridge graduate and Old Fettesian must not be the right combination for Michael C and we should all clearly leave off Micheal M. But isn't that just the sort of person that he served under as Prime Minister for 10 years, OK the University is wrong but the school is an exact match.
Personally I think it is a speaker who is a friend of Labour whether willfully, through ignorance or through looking the other way, allowing Labour's draconian anti-terror laws to be used yet again too heavy handedly. That has only one thing to do with class and that is failure to behave with any not how one was "brung up".I'm only upset that I missed the original airing of the programme, but then again I'm liable to have been shouting at the screen or worse if I'd heard such clearly ungrounded drivel. So I spared my neighbours a good old rant no doubt.