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03rd Apr 2019

Speaker John Bercow delivers casting vote in Commons because our government is beyond useless

Kyle Picknell

To the politicians of the parliament of the United Kingdom I say one thing and one thing only: Orrrrrrrrrrrrrrrder

Today was like any other day in the House of Commons, or at least any other day in the House of Commons recently, where 650 members of parliament enter a wooden chamber and sit on some green leather seating and shout really, really embarrassing things at each other to either back up or disagree with points whilst someone is talking, things like “HAHA YES. QUITE!” and things like “GUFF! POPPYCOCK!”, things like “*LOUD GRUNTING LIKE AN ACTUAL FARM ANIMAL*”, things like “*SEMI-VIGOROUS NODDING*”.

Occasionally they do some voting. Today they did some voting.

What were they voting on? They were doing some indicative voting on various Brexit plans. For the second time.

How did the votes go? Much like the last time, when these exact same people did the exact same thing, which was again indicative voting on the unappetising menu of all the various unappetising Brexit plans on the table.

Again, like the last time they did it, which, again, was earlier this week, literally a few days ago, the results were once more: inconclusive.

Which brings us to the final, most important vote of the day. Ah, but of course: To vote, once again, once and for all until the next time, on whether to assemble this crack team of Brexit Avengers on Monday for yet another round of indicative voting, for yet more potential votes.

How did this vote go? The vote to hold more votes? It went, in my opinion, perfectly. Because you see, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, they voted in an exact split. It was a tie. Both supporters and opponents of Labour MP Hilary Benn’s plan to ask the Commons to – once again, one more time even than Daft Punk – back a range of Brexit outcomes registered 310 votes each (this doesn’t add up to 650 because 30 MPs abstained or simply weren’t there or just forgot to vote or have long since lost the ability to make indicative noises with their mouths or write legibly on a piece of paper because of course they have).

This means… this means that, incredibly, the MPs couldn’t decide amongst themselves a vote on whether they should or shouldn’t come back and have some more votes, a whole range of votes, to do some more voting on an additional fucking day of fucking voting, for the third time in a week, in an attempt to try and solve Brexit. I’m really sorry but that is as about as simply as I can put it. That is the situation reduced to its simplest possible terms.

When Albert Einstein was rumoured to have said that the definition of insanity was doing the same thing repeatedly whilst expecting a different result (although he probably/definitely didn’t say that), he likely didn’t expect definitive proof to come a century later in the form of 650 MPs stuck in a kind of Brexit Groundhog Day set in the House of Commons.

All this nonsense meant that John Bercow, which is a thing you get when you genetically cross a megaphone with an even bigger megaphone, and then cross-breed that with an elocution audiobook and a foghorn, and then once again with a bloke who looks like a train conductor, had to take matters into his own hands.

Here’s a quote for you – “Not the hero we deserved but the hero we needed”. That’s Commisioner Gordon on Batman, by the way. And also John Bercow.

It’s something that hasn’t been done since 1993, when a woman named Betty Boothroyd sat in the speaker’s chair, but Bercow did it regardless, voting in favour of the ‘Noes’ and decisively swinging the contest because nobody else would, explaining: “In accordance with precedent and on the principle that important decisions should not be taken except by a majority I cast my vote with the Noes. The Noes have it.”

So, what now? Well, there will be no indicative voting on Monday for the third time in a week (good) but it is now up to famously compatible and decisive individuals Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn to agree on a deal (bad) (very bad).

To conclude: once again nothing has happened, nobody knows what is going on and nobody has any solutions. This is just our life now, watching our MPs vote on votes for potential votes to solve the Brexit vote, over and over and over again until the sun’s unconquerable, rampant energy finally and mercifully consumes us all.

Have a nice evening.