The Daily Mail, and Mail on Sunday, seem to be going after John Bercow. The charge? He lets his nanny live rent-free at his house.
Yes, it really is that trivial. I’ve never had a nanny – I don’t come from that sort of social background – but I’m sure many nannys do live rent-free at their employers homes. Being the conscientious chap I am, I even did some research on nannys. I wonder what Wikipedia says about their living arrangements?
Perks of the job may include a nanny flat.
That clears that up then.
There are three reasons why the Mail seems to be gunning at John Bercow:
1) Bercow is a Tory, but was elected speaker with overwhelmingly Labour support. A small group of Tory MPs even tried to remove him as speaker soon after the coalition had formed. Being this closely involved with Labour obviously makes Bercow an Agent Of Satan in the Mail’s eyes, and therefore deserving of an attack.
2) John Bercow’s wife, Sally, is not only a Labour activist (shock!) but also stood as a Labour councillor in May (HORROR!). She is therefore very actively carrying out the Devil’s Work, and fair game as a result.
3) Sally Bercow also happens to be very good-looking. Therefore, whenever the Mail publish a story about John or Sally Bercow, they can illustrate it with a HUGE picture of Sally. Like this one:
Any excuse to publish pictures of attractive women is a good excuse, as far as the Mail is concerned.
All of these three factors adds up to a perfect storm – the perfect Mail story. All that’s needed is some entirely spurious rubbish about their household arrangements, and bingo!
Because if you wanted to attack Bercow, it doesn’t matter how he arranges his house. Say he had charged the nanny rent. Presumably the story would look something like this:
“Despite earning £146,000 a year Commons Speaker John Bercow has CHARGED his nanny, who only earns £10,000* a year, several thousands pounds to live in his grace and favour mansion; imply he’s a skinflint bastard who hates the ordinary working people, it’s a publicly funded building how dare he charge rent, etc etc”
* I have no idea how much the nanny earns, I use this merely as an example.
So John Bercow could be damned whatever he does. We should just accept this is a non-story, a smear job by the Mail, and move on.
Except there’s another issue at the bottom of the article I want to highlight. Nadine Dorries has piped up:
It leaves the Speaker open to criticism and, frankly, given the choppy waters the Speaker is about to be called upon to steer Parliament through, that is the last thing he needs.
He really needs to advise his wife to close down her Twitter account.
Nadine Dorries doesn’t seem to understand that a wife can have a different opinion to her husband. I don’t agree with the view Dorries has, but she is perfectly entitled to them, no matter what her husband thinks. Presumably the same is true of Sally Bercow.