But his firm focus was to outline no less than TEN proposals to strengthen the role of MPs as inquisitors and legislators. What he called a "Backbench Bill of Rights". I have to confess my attention did begin to wander as he outlined all of his ten points, but the principal sounded good. Well done Bercow, we might have cried had we been a less well ordered meeting, for accepting that the House of Commons needed better legislators and inquisitors. Indeed, Bercow's service, as a Speaker loathed by his own party and no longer in hock to the governing party, has been to feel free enough to say what surely every MP is thinking (those, at any rate, who have been gifted with the ability). That if the Commons is to recover some respect in the public mind, it can no longer continue to be the limp plaything of governments, and must start to assert some level of independence and even aggression.
The questions afterwards brought a comment from Mr. Bercow that he would like to see the long summer holiday that MPs enjoy reduced, but that was hardly the meat of his talk. All the more of a pity that it happens to be the BBC's main story from the lecture, but perhaps that's because the holiday questions was asked by a BBC journalist?