It took long - but I got there!

Posted 8 Nov 2010 by Walaa Idris

In the past, many people objected to Sally Bercow’s partisan outspokenness – as the Speaker’s wife she too, they said, should be neutral and non partisan!

At the time my thoughts were, but she is an individual and as such is entitled to her own place and if that position is political so be it. But she would not have had that place has it not been for her husband’s position – did anyone even hear of Sally Bercow before John Bercow became Speaker of the Commons – they all said!

The answer is no, and even Sally herself does not deny that if she wasn’t the Speaker’s wife she would not have had the platform she now enjoys – but also, she always made it clear that she is her own person with her own opinions.

As some one who was brought up in a similar situation, I fully understand. My parents were on opposite ends of the political arena and form experience I know it’s doable and very normal.

Until today! When it became very clear to me that even if she is an individual, and she is, for some people, the two lines can easily become blurred and confused and give room to misunderstandings, misinterpretations raising unnecessary doubts about the impartiality of the Speaker.

Mrs. Bercow was a guest on the Politics Show yesterday. She was asked about her opinion in the case of Phil Woolas, without hesitation she said the Speaker should delay any move to call a by- election until Mr. Woolas’ judicial review is complete.

Mr Speaker this afternoon did exactly that – which by the way is the sensible thing to do, time and cost wise.

However, I could not help but wonder if Mr & Mrs Speaker talked it over, and if that was his opinion alone! It was then that I saw what everyone before me did – Sally’s political ambition and her outspoken partisanship will always be at the back of people’s mind whenever John Bercow is faced with this kind of situation – and even the most open minded person can not scape a splinter of doubt!

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